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Hispanic Activists Sue Over Illegal Immigrant Crackdown in Pa.

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posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 07:15 PM
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Hispanic groups are trying to sue the town of Hazelton for new laws that try to crack down on illegal immigrants. The laws fine landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, and deny business owners business permits who use illegal immigrants. The groups say the measures violate laws.
 



www.usatoday.com
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Hispanic groups sued Hazleton on Tuesday over one of the toughest crackdowns on illegal immigrants by a U.S. city.
Hazleton, a city of about 31,000 people 80 miles from Philadelphia, voted last month to fine landlords $1,000 for renting to illegal immigrants, deny business permits to companies that give them jobs, and make English the city's official language.

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund said the lawsuit is the first in the nation against a city that passed an illegal-immigration ordinance. The group and other plaintiffs contend the measure violates the law and asked a federal judge to prevent its enforcement.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


How is it illegal to say it is illegal to rent a home to illegal immigrants or give a job to illegal immigrants?

THEY are ILLEGAL!

Since the Federal Government isn't cracking down with new laws against illegal immigration it is now left in local communities hands.

[edit on 15-8-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



apc

posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 09:16 PM
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Seems that once they lose (and they had better lose), they should be charged with obstructing justice. Looks pretty clean cut... they are intentionally interfering with due process of law.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 09:23 PM
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This case should build steam provided that some huge terrorist event doesnt knock it out of the news completely.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 10:53 PM
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Well, considering that elections of judges is right around the corner, I would imagine the judge in this case will do the right thing, although I haven't yet checked to see their history on the bench; which I'll certainly do very soon.

Will he/she decide by the will of the people, of is he/she an activist judge? I'm also sick and tired of people using the word "hispanic", as their is no such people, and no country of "Hispania." It's a word thought up by the Left a few years ago so they could cater to them as a group.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 11:02 PM
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This is just plain stupid. I dont think they have a chance in hell that they will win. Nice media coverage though. Did anyone know mexico hasnt decided who one the last election and there are two sides of the coin. One seems to be extreme.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 11:27 PM
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Ahem:

Equal Housing


Sec. 804. [42 U.S.C. 3604] Discrimination in sale or rental of housing and other prohibited practices


As made applicable by section 803 of this title and except as exempted by sections 803(b) and 807 of this title, it shall be unlawful--

(a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.
(b) To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

(c) To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.

(d) To represent to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.


Nothing in there about discrimination because the people are using FAKE IDENTIFICATION or are in the USA ILLEGALLY. The Law should stand.


In fact, I would think that people using fake I.D. would be considered possible terrorists.



posted on Aug, 15 2006 @ 11:48 PM
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To be covered under the laws of the united states, dont you have to "be" a member of the united states ?



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 02:05 AM
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How am I, a landlord, supposed to verify the immigration status of my tenants? I have no authority to investigate their immigration status, under current federal law, right? I have to contract that out, at my own expense. They give me a SS#, what can I do with that besides make sure it has the requisite number of digits?

I could run a background check on everyone to protect myself, but that comes out of my pocket because, in a competitive rental market, prospective tenants see that fee and they go elsewhere. I've even taken to waiving security deposits!

As a precaution, I'd be forced to turn down anyone who looks like they might be from somewhere else. A thousand dollar fine could cripple me. I'm not going to risk it, if I can avoid it by renting only to white people who don't speak with an accent. Of course it's morally reprehensible, as far as I'm concerned, but what else am I supposed to do?

An employer is a different matter. They have to verify the immigration status of their employees (to some extent) by law, because they have to submit tax forms appropriate to the situation. But cracking down on businesses and landlords is absurd, given the resources we have available to us for screening these people.

I'm not interested in sneaking people across the border, I just rent apartments. Gimme the cash every month, you get the apartment. Don't gimme the cash? Find a new place to live - it's very, very simple (which is why I like it). I could care less where these people are from, as long as they're pleasant, and quiet, and pay the rent on time. In exchange they get a clean apartment, with functioning appliances, a smile when I pass, and if something breaks, I fix it. If I had wanted to be an immigration enforcer, I would have pursued that line of work. Let those guys do their job, and let me do my job.

It's totally unreasonable to expect landlords like myself to verify immigration status of every tenant (though I'll admit, it's unlikely I'll be having this problem anytime soon, as there are very few immigrants in my community, hence no public outcry, hence no stupid laws). Under current law, I don't think I even have the right to ask for their social security information, because what's to stop me from misusing that information? I have no right to ask where they're from either, because it could be considered an avenue to allow discrimination based on national origin. As far as I'm concerned, it's like the military - don't ask, don't tell.

Politicians are so eager to solve a problem, they don't take the time to think of a workable solution, they just slap together something politically expedient and the masses suck it down like cheap green beer on St. Patties day. Shameful. :shk:

If I were a landlord in the affected communities, I would be selling my building to someone more willing and able to deal with the nonsense of petty tyrants.


apc

posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 07:26 AM
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Uhm around here most rentals run credit checks. Fairly easy and cheap way to check a SSN.

Many others require background checks.

While I lived amongst them, it was fairly obvious that the illegals would have their 'coyote' or whatever he would be called (a legal who would be able to pass the credit check) sign the lease. Then in came their half dozen hombres who would trash the area, cause oodles of problems, and eventually just leave skipping out on the lease.

After determining they were illegal I informed the landlord. They did nothing, because they didn't really care as long as rent was being paid. I fould this appalling. Not only were they in violation of their lease just by breathing the air (criminal act), they turned the place into a dump. The world is their trash can. And zero respect for their neighbors, except the other illegals.

I can't wait for the day that all cities have laws like this on the books. Something to force landlords to actually act against illegals instead of just ignoring the mounting problems so long as the money is there.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 08:04 AM
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Uhm around here most rentals run credit checks. Fairly easy and cheap way to check a SSN.


Twenty bucks per prospective tenant, is not a fee most people in my position can afford. If it serves also to preclude problems down the line, it's worth it, but I rely on my own ability for that, and it's effective.



While I lived amongst them, it was fairly obvious that the illegals would have their 'coyote' or whatever he would be called (a legal who would be able to pass the credit check) sign the lease. Then in came their half dozen hombres who would trash the area, cause oodles of problems, and eventually just leave skipping out on the lease.


I'm not sure, but I think coyote is a term reserved for those who assist in getting people across the border undetected, by whatever means.

There are definitely plenty of citizens who are willing to sign a lease for a friend, but an attentive landlord should have absolutely no problem spotting this right away, and dealing with it before it gets out of hand, and a lot of money is lost.

If I rent an apartment to someone, I've got to be sure it's them living there. That seems like common sense to me.



After determining they were illegal I informed the landlord.


And how did you determine this inspector?



They did nothing, because they didn't really care as long as rent was being paid. I fould this appalling.


Or maybe, like me, they see a clear distinction between the duties of a landlord, and the duties of an immigration cop?

Lemme ask you this...

If you work in a bank, as a teller, do you spend your evenings doing paperwork for the local police department, free of charge? Of course not. If you're a chef, do you spend your half hour lunch walking around with a measuring stick, checking to make sure that every car is parked a foot or less away from the curb?



Not only were they in violation of their lease just by breathing the air (criminal act), they turned the place into a dump. The world is their trash can. And zero respect for their neighbors, except the other illegals.


The fact that you believe the above mentioned characteristics are unique to illegal immigrants is very telling. Take a trip to any poor semi-rural neighborhood, and tell me, how many of those properties have been converted into makeshift garbage heaps by their white, American tenants?

Go to Milwaukee or Detroit or Chicago, and tell me the people living in the projects, and the low-income housing, and the row houses, don't turn their surroundings into a trash-heap.

I've seen this behavior EVERYWHERE, the only common thread is poverty. Rich people don't generally live atop mountains of trash, competing with rodents for scraps of food. That's the commonality here...

It's got nothing to do with immigration status.



I can't wait for the day that all cities have laws like this on the books. Something to force landlords to actually act against illegals instead of just ignoring the mounting problems so long as the money is there.


That's patently ridiculous. INS can't get it's act together, so they're going to fine me for trying to scrape a living out of this crappy rental market?

Next thing you're going to tell me, I've gotta go fix an oxygen generator on the space station, because the mechanic assigned by NASA, despite having a budget far exceeding my own, has been chronically unable to do so.

Un-FREAKIN-believable.


apc

posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Twenty bucks per prospective tenant, is not a fee most people in my position can afford. If it serves also to preclude problems down the line, it's worth it, but I rely on my own ability for that, and it's effective.

Make the tenant pay for it.



If I rent an apartment to someone, I've got to be sure it's them living there. That seems like common sense to me.

It also seems to be common sense to make sure the property is not being used to commit a crime. Meth lab or illegal safehouse... both should get the boot.


And how did you determine this inspector?

Uhm... conversation? Si, hablo espanol. Tiene sus papeles?



Or maybe, like me, they see a clear distinction between the duties of a landlord, and the duties of an immigration cop?

It is the duty of the landlord to take action when they become aware that their property is being used to aid in the commission of a crime.


The fact that you believe the above mentioned characteristics are unique to illegal immigrants is very telling. Take a trip to any poor semi-rural neighborhood, and tell me, how many of those properties have been converted into makeshift garbage heaps by their white, American tenants?

Oh yes I am in no way stating that only illegals turn their surroundings into garbage scows. But when a place is fairly well kept, and then overrun by illegals, and you have to watch your step or get cut by broken beer bottles... the variable seems clear.


That's patently ridiculous. INS can't get it's act together, so they're going to fine me for trying to scrape a living out of this crappy rental market?

No, they should fine you for knowingly allowing your property to be used to house and support illegal immigrants.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 08:38 AM
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i live in NYC where you cant even talk about an apartment until they run credit, background checks and the building council must approve you.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
How am I, a landlord, supposed to verify the immigration status of my tenants? I have no authority to investigate their immigration status, under current federal law, right? I have to contract that out, at my own expense. They give me a SS#, what can I do with that besides make sure it has the requisite number of digits?


This is the only fault that I can find with this law. I have filled out rental applications that were more invasive than when I got a security clearance. All I can say is that in my opinion this law would put the requirement on the local Police to handle the immigration status check. In order to prevent cries of discrimination this check would have to be performed on everyone who rents, buys or shares housing.

One thing that I find interesting is that it is Hispanic groups who are filing the lawsuits here, yet there is nothing in the law mentioning Hispanics specifically. In my opinion this is just a way to try to get the town to repeal the law by threatening them with expensive legal bills. Nothing more than legalized extortion really. Personally I blame this all on the Federal Government. If they would enforce the laws that are currently on the books, we wouldn't have this problem. To me this just sets a bad precedent. What other laws are going to be declared null because the politicians are too afraid of not being re-elected.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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Make the tenant pay for it.


Many won't - I know I never have, when I've been on the other side of the landlord-tenant equation. Like I said, competetive market, no need to spend more than is absolutely necessary. There are always other buildings, and other landlords, who are either willing to soak the cost, or willing to waive the procedure.



It is the duty of the landlord to take action when they become aware that their property is being used to aid in the commission of a crime.


That's where we differ in our interpretation of the law. If someone is cooking meth, or running a brothel, they are in clear violation of the law and the landlord is liable if he is aware that the premises are being used in the commission of a crime.

Now here's where it gets a bit complicated, and my understanding may not be up to snuff, so please correct me if I'm wrong...

The crime of which illegal immigrants are guilty is that of entering the country illegally. It's a misdemeanor, I believe. If they entered illegally, then they have broken the law.

As I see it, as long as the landlord doesn't double as coyote, he should not be liable. Sleeping, eating, watching television - these are not crimes. Entering the country illegally is a crime, but as I said, if all the landlord does is 'help' by renting to undocumented immigrants, a place to eat, sleep, and watch television, he hasn't aided in the commission of a crime.

And before you say 'the landlord helped them evade capture', consider this. From the moment they enter the country, they are evading capture, in every sense. They would be evading capture with or without the premises. The premises are no more being used in the commission of a crime, than a hotdog vendors stand, when a purse snatcher leaps over it.




Oh yes I am in no way stating that only illegals turn their surroundings into garbage scows. But when a place is fairly well kept, and then overrun by illegals, and you have to watch your step or get cut by broken beer bottles... the variable seems clear.


Okay, well, we're on the same page as far as that's concerned. Many poor people, especially people who rent, rather than own their homes, are absolutely filthy. I know a landlord who once had a tenant who thought 'mopping the kitchen' meant throw a bucket of water on the floor and walk away..literally. The problem came to light after the leaks started annoying the people downstairs...

Lots of people lack the basic knowledge many of us take for granted...

It's frustrating, and it makes me very angry, but the answer is not to target immigrants specifically. The answer is to target ignorance and the pursuit of expediency when it comes at the cost of doing a good job. That, by the way, is precisely the reason I object to laws of the sort we're talking about on this thread.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by zappafan1
I'm also sick and tired of people using the word "hispanic", as their is no such people, and no country of "Hispania." It's a word thought up by the Left a few years ago so they could cater to them as a group.






As used in the United States, Hispanic is one of several terms employed to categorize all persons whose ancestry hails either from the people of Spain, any of the various peoples of Spanish-speaking Latin America, or the original settlers of the traditionally Spanish-held Southwestern United States.






Hispanic (Spanish: Hispano) is a term denoting a derivation from Spain, its people and culture. It follows the same style of use as Anglo indicates a derivation of England and the English. Thus, the Spanish-American War in Spanish is known as Guerra Hispano-Estadounidense, the "Spanish-German Treaty" is Tratado Hispano-Alemán, and "Spanish America" is Hispanoamérica.



More information can be found here: en.wikipedia.org...


apc

posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:25 AM
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Well, I've always paid for the initial credit check. Every apartment Ive had wouldn't even discuss a lease until a credit check and employment verification came back. Even places that had a lot of low-income housing. Only a couple ran a background check. There was always a required $25 up front as an application and credit check fee. Personally, I think landlords would prefer to ensure their tenants are of good standing. It makes the property more desirable and attractive to other prospective tenants of good standing, eventually leading to a rather nice place to live, allowing the property owners to charge higher rent.

And of course, as I said, the landlord should only be liable if they knowingly rent to illegals. I dont think a case would hold in court if they didn't know. A simple credit check and basic awareness of the property is a minimal means that has significant impact. Ignoring the illegal immigrant issue, a landlord who doesn't run credit checks stands a good chance of having deadbeat tenants. I would think the market would determine the futures for both sides... the property that has a high defaulted turnover rate, or the property that has tenants with good reputations for meeting their financial obligations.

If a rental property can't survive without peddling to illegals, then that property has a lot more problems than its tenants.



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:30 AM
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We are talking about "ILLEGALS" they have no rights in the US.

Capture all of the illegals and dump them over the boarder into Mexico which they came from.

Furthermore, Anyone who rents to them should go to jail-the property owner/operator.

Anyone hiring Illegals, should go to jail and their illegal workers sent back home-to Mexico.

These stupid "illegal rights groups" are lame. For "legal" immigrants-fine-help and support them all you want with YOUR money/time and effort-not my tax dollars

Again, Illegals have no rights and if they don't like it GO HOME!!!!!!!!!



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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Make the tenant pay for it.



Many won't - I know I never have, when I've been on the other side of the landlord-tenant equation. Like I said, competetive market, no need to spend more than is absolutely necessary. There are always other buildings, and other landlords, who are either willing to soak the cost, or willing to waive the procedure.



Maybe the ones that won't pay for it are the very ones we are talking about.

20 bucks isn't much extra to spend when you need a place to live, unless you have something to hide, like maybe you are in this country illegally.

I've paid those sorts of fees before and don't see the big deal.









[edit on 16/8/06 by Keyhole]



posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 10:29 AM
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apc


Personally, I think landlords would prefer to ensure their tenants are of good standing.


Yeah, absolutely. The landlords owe it to themselves to be sure about the intentions of tenants they attract.



Ignoring the illegal immigrant issue, a landlord who doesn't run credit checks stands a good chance of having deadbeat tenants.


Again, absolutely - I agree 100%. I can gladly suffer the consequences of my own failures, because it's a learning experience every time. What I can't do is keep paying the price for the folly of another - that's horribly unfair.

This is crucial - what if the immigrants use forged papers, or a stolen identity, or even a clean, valid, borrowed identity? I've heard stories of many people sharing an identity for the purposes of securing ID's and so on. When ICE/INS comes knocking, is the landlord still liable, even though everything checked out?

Imagine that, you're a landlord, you get a nice man from Ecuador or some place looking for an apartment, and you run a background check/credit check to make sure you won't get fined. Everything comes back fine, but in a couple of months, ICE/INS shows up, hauls him away, and the city slaps you with a fine for harboring an illegal immigrant.


Where's the justice in that?

We don't have the resources to do this job effectively, that's the bottom line. An agency with a gigantic budget can't even pass muster, what hope do we have? Do I have to learn to spot expert forgeries, do I have to develop contacts at interpol, do I have to construct and maintain a national database of people entering and leaving the country?

These besuited weenies aren't thinking hard enough about the practical limitations of their little plan...

mrmonsoon


Furthermore, Anyone who rents to them should go to jail-the property owner/operator.


You want to send landlords to jail because INS/ICE can't do its job? You think I should have to go to jail, because someone else forges their documents, or borrows the identity of their cousin's roommate? I gotta pay the price for the crimes committed by other people?

How do you propose we gather this information? Read this thread and try to answer some of my questions, please. If you've got a strategy that will allow me to protect myself from all the problems associated with renting to illegal immigrants, while at the same time protecting me from a stupid fine, bring it on, and slap it down. I wanna see your solution.

[edit on 16-8-2006 by WyrdeOne]


apc

posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 11:14 AM
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Reasonable effort is probably the foundation for any action against property management. Just as how a liquor store operator is expected to at the very least have a basic knowledge of what identification should look like, they are not held responsible if some kid uses a very good fake ID to buy beer. If it is obviously fake, then they are.

I dont recall exactly where off hand, but there is an independent website as well as a link somewhere on the INS page where an employer can run a quick check on a social. The same could easily be used by landlords prior to drawing up a lease. This alone should sufficiently release them from any liability should contrary facts come to light in the future, as it is a reasonable amount of effort to verify status. But, if in the future the landlord ignored those new facts, they should then be responsible for a violation.



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