Another Court Victory For Illegal Day Laborers
NOVEMBER 22, 2006
For the second time this year a federal judge has ruled that it’s discriminatory and therefore illegal for municipalities in the United States to crack down on illegal immigrant day laborers who loiter, often harass residents and destroy neighborhoods with litter.
A May ruling said that a Southern California city (Redondo Beach) violated the First Amendment free speech rights of illegal migrants by enforcing a 19-year-old law designed to prohibit day laborers from seeking work on city streets. After police arrested numerous violators, an immigration advocacy group filed a lawsuit and won.
This week a New York federal judge ruled in favor of six unidentified illegal immigrants who sued Mamaroneck, a working class village located about 25 miles north of New York City, for enforcing a similar law. The day laborers claimed that officials harassed them and discriminated against them simply because they are Hispanic.
Judge Colleen McMahon agreed, writing in her 70-page ruling that Mamaroneck officials clearly discriminated against Hispanic laborers when they increased police patrols, closed a day laborer hiring site and fined contractors who approached the migrants on the streets. She said that “the fact that the day laborers were Latinos and not whites,” was a motivating factor in the city’s actions. Mamaroneck (American taxpayers) will have to pay the illegal immigrants’ attorney fees, which are estimated at more than $1 million.
The president of the organization that represented the migrants, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, said that city officials had engaged in intentional discrimination that was motivated by racism and pro immigration groups across the country applauded the ruling, saying that this judge saw how racism robs people of their humanity.
These appear to be the only groups praising Judge McMahon, a Bill Clinton appointee with a controversial history. She ranks second on a list of 10 judges that should be impeached for abuse of power. Her critics say she regularly makes inappropriate statements in open court (such as, “this is not a gun society any more.”), she refers to her duties on the bench as “torture” and “pain and suffering” and she often ignores the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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