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Immigration Expert: Hazleton Laws are Harsh and Discriminatory

Sara Mullen,
ACLU of Pennsylvania
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March 16, 2007

On Thursday, Judge Munley heard the testimony of Marc R. Rosenblum, a political science professor at the University of New Orleans, who last year worked with Congress in drafting immigration reform.

Rosenblum offered damning testimony of Hazleton’s ordinance, citing its harsh, shortened timeline that gives employers a scant three days upon receipt of a complaint to comply with the town’s new employment standards. He also pointed to the most severe difference between Hazleton and federal immigration statutes is that the U.S. government requires that businesses must not knowingly hire ineligible workers, where Hazleton prohibits the employment of ineligible workers, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Rosenblum argues that this leads to discrimination: “Employers will assume that someone who looks Latino is more likely to be undocumented.”

He also criticized the problems with the Feds’ Basic Pilot Program, an electronic employment verification system used by Hazleton business-owners to verify workers’ legal status.

Check out what others have been saying about the trial.

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