Federal Judge Rules That Local Governments Can Suspend Business Licenses for Hiring Illegal Aliens

This is excellent news!

Immigration Reform Law Institute

Decision in Valley Park, Missouri, Case will have Far-Reaching
Consequences Predicts the Immigration Reform Law Institute

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an unambiguous 57-page
decision handed down on January 31, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber
ruled that local governments have a right to take action against illegal
immigration by suspending or denying business licenses to employers who
knowingly hire illegal aliens. Judge Webber granted the City of Valley
Park, Missouri’s, request for summary judgment in dismissing a case seeking
to prevent the city from implementing local ordinances meant to crack down
on businesses that employ illegal aliens. His ruling rejected every one of
the arguments made by the plaintiffs in this suit.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), a Washington, D.C.-based
public interest law firm representing citizens in immigration-related
matters, worked closely with the City of Valley Park in drafting ordinances
that were approved in February 2007, and provided legal representation to
the city in defending the ordinances against the suit brought by the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) on behalf of a few business owners
and anonymous illegal immigrants.

“Judge Webber’s ruling represents an across-the-board victory for the
people of Valley Park, and for the principle that local communities have a
legal right to discourage illegal immigration by denying business licenses
to companies that employ illegal workers,” stated Prof. Kris Kobach, lead
counsel for Valley Park and of counsel with IRLI.

In his precedent setting decision, Judge Webber ruled that carefully
crafted ordinances, such as the one enacted in Valley Park, a St. Louis
suburb, are not preempted by the federal government’s exclusive right to
regulate immigration. Rather such ordinances constitute the normal function
of local governments to regulate the terms under which business may be
conducted in their jurisdiction, and that federal laws prohibiting the
employment of illegal aliens encourage local governments to act in this

“The Valley Park decision is a clear green light for other cities and
states to enact similar laws,” declared Michael Hethmon, general counsel
for IRLI. “Point by point, Judge Webber’s decision deconstructs and
dismisses each of the arguments that opponents of immigration enforcement
have made in this and other cases around the country. As a result of this
decision we expect to see many more communities enact common sense
ordinances, confident that the law is on their side.”



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