A federal appeals court ruled that an anti-immigrant city ordinance passed by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania is unconstitutional. The court ruled that the disputed Illegal Immigration Relief Act usurped the federal government's exclusive prerogative to regulate immigration. The case had been pending in the courts since 2008.
The city intended to penalize businesses that employ undocumented persons and to fine landlords who rent homes to undocumented persons.
From the beginning, Hispanic groups and immigrant advocates sued the municipality, arguing that immigration regulation is the exclusive purview of the federal government. The laws were never enforced.
This decision could set a precedent in the case of Arizona's S.B. 1070, which will be reviewed by a federal court during the first week of November.