Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kris Kobach's immigration laws get help, hurt by recent court rulings

Posted by on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Hazleton's financial hole isn't Lou Barletta's problem now.
  • Hazleton's financial hole isn't Lou Barletta's problem now.

As shiny new Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was shaking the election-night confetti from his hair, judges were busy scrutinizing the immigration laws he crafted for Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Fremont, Nebraska. 

And it wasn't all good news for towns that have adopted his federal-authority-skirting brand of regulations.



First, to Nebraska. Kobach's Fremont law, which makes everybody who wants to rent an apartment pay $5 for a permit (a little weird, right?), and fine landlords with the gall to rent to dastardly illegals, looks to be in decent shape.

The state Supreme Court decided they would rather not wade into the legal quagmire the law flooded the town with. The state's high court decided that since the federal judge

asking them to look into the law didn't suggest the ordinance broke

state law, they couldn't rule on it. Kobach, was pumped at the news,

telling the Associated Press that it shows the weakness of legal

challenges.

Meanwhile, Hazleton might have just become a whole

lot poorer. A quick summary: The city passed a similar law to the

Fremont one, and is appealing a court ruling that said the law was

unconstitutional. While they prepare to make their case to the Supreme

Court, the plaintiffs that brought the initial suit are seeking $2.4

million in legal fees. The city told its insurance company to dish out

the cash, but the insurers told the city to forget about it. And a U.S.

Appeals Court ruled

that the city is responsible for covering the fees.

That could tap out the town of just 22,000. After begging anti-illegal

immigration activists nationwide for cash, the city was showered with

$430,000 to pay down its massive legal debt, much of it owed to Kobach.

In October, the town was running of fumes with a measly $10,000 in the

legal fund, barely enough to fight a few parking tickets. Now the city

needs to decide whether to appeal (and likely dig itself deeper into

debt) or try to find the cash to pay the plaintiff's bills.

It's

a thoroughly sucky situation for Hazleton, especially since the two

people responsible for getting the city to this point have bailed on its residents.

Kobach got paid

and now has a new gig tracking down dead voters, and Mayor Lou Barletta, who spearheaded getting

the law passed, will soon be jetting off to join the House of

Representatives.

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