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Top 10 Civil Liberties News Stories - August 22, 2006 Edition

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ACLU Challenges Anti-Immigrant Hazleton Ordinance in Court
Immigration Rally (5/1/06)

A group of immigrants march in protest against draconian immigration laws on May 1st, 2006.

Photo: Copyright (c) 2006 Steve White. Used by permission.
U.S. Conservatives Guide Amy Hess has written a defense of the Hazleton ordinance, new anti-immigrant legislation passed in Hazleton, Pennsylvania which is being challenged by the ACLU. Amy's defense is far less disingenuous than that of Mayor Lou Barletta:
This measure is not racist because it does not target one particular race... Requiring the use of English does not target any other language ...
Anyone familiar with the history of civil rights legislation knows that indirect "neutral" attacks on specific ethnic groups are par for the course, which is why nondiscrimination laws measure the effect of ordinances. As I wrote last month:
Because of the way the law is written, this constitutes a license to refuse to do business with any and all Latinos who don't carry their citizenship papers around with them--earning the ordinance a sharp condemnation from the Congressional Research Office.
The nonpartisan CRO's report (PDF format) concludes that the ordinance would violate federal antidiscrimination statutes, severely restricting the civil rights of many legal Latino residents--including some U.S. citizens.
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