On 5 May, 2007, the Associated Press ran a story entitled “Local Immigration Laws Bring High Costs.” It described a nationwide shakedown project by the ACLU. Only the AP missed the larger story.
The story as written, said, “Cities across the U.S. are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending themselves against lawsuits and other challenges to ordinances enacted to keep out illegal immigrants.”
It went on to describe how at least 90 cities had considered ordinances like those of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, but that many were backing away in fear of the costs. And, those costs come in two varieties: the fees that cities pay to their lawyers to defend themselves from legal attacks by the ACLU. The second cost is that courts may order cities to pay legal fees and costs to the ACLU.
It is only between the lines of the facts in this story that readers can see the ‘shakedown’ project being run by the ACLU. The ACLU wants fear, not logic, to stop cities from acting to protect their own citizens from criminal and financial losses at the hands of illegal immigrants.
It is beyond the ken of the AP to recognize that it is describing a wholesale assault on American civil rights. The first right claimed by the Declaration of Independence is self-government. The most basic right guaranteed by the Constitution is “republican government.” For those not up on their constitutional definitions, that means living under laws written by our elected representatives.
In simple terms even a grade school student would understand, Americans are opposed to “taxation without representation.” That means that all levels of government, including cities, should tax and spend through decisions of elected representatives, not non-elected judges. That means the whole thesis of this article should be reversed.
Hazleton-type laws should be approved by the courts, not struck down. And then, fee awards should be made against the ACLU in favor of the victimized cities. That’s because the ACLU is attacking the most basic right of Americans, the right to self-government.