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Hazleton Doesn't Do its Homework

Sara Mullen,
ACLU of Pennsylvania
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March 14, 2007

After a last-ditch effort by the defense’s attorneys to stop him from testifying, Hazleton City Council President Joseph Yanuzzi took the stand in yesterday afternoon’s proceedings. Yanuzzi admitted that the city council hadn’t thoroughly researched the “findings” that the ordinances are based upon, namely that illegal immigrants increased violent crime, burdened hospitals and overcrowded classrooms. When questioned why they hadn’t done more research before passing the law, Yanuzzi got defensive and said, “Every law we make, somebody’s going to be hurt. There is no 100 percent. I pass the pooper-scooper law, what am I going to do – study that? We can’t have consultants come here every two seconds.”

Incidentally, CNN’s Lou Dobbs is ordinarily railing against the ACLU for defending immigrants, but last night his legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin weighed in on our side in the Hazleton trial:

“I think the ACLU and the Chamber of Commerce, I think they’re going to prevail. I think the judge is going to avoid the issue about whether it’s discriminatory, and simply say, look, this is a federal matter. Hazleton, stay out of it.”

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