“Illegal Immigration Relief Act” Upheld

February 1, 2008

Valley Park, Missouri “Illegal Immigration Relief Act” Upheld

Water20tower Yesterday, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber entered summary judgment for the city of Valley Park, Missouri and upheld a local ordinance denying business licenses to employers who hire undocumented immigrants. Judge Webber rejected the argument of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund challenging the ordinance. Here is the order. Download gray_13108.pdf Here is the city’s press release.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2008/02/valley-park-mis.html

 http://www.standardspeaker.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6730&Itemid=2

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  1. carpentersville2

    Some History,

    Kobach joins city’s fight for law restricting illegals
    Daily Record and the Kansas City Daily News-Press, Oct 27, 2006 by Allison Retka

    A Missouri city under attack for a controversial ordinance barring the hiring of or renting to illegal immigrants has begun its aggressive defense, including hiring big-name attorney in anti- illegal immigration circles from Kansas City

    Valley Park has also requested immunity for its mayor and eight aldermen – nine individuals the plaintiffs are eager to depose to ascertain their motivations for supporting the ordinance, first passed July 17.

    Kris Kobach, an attorney and law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor and other Fox News programs, joined the case last week.

    He said he was one of the architects of the longer, revised ordinance Valley Park adopted Sept. 26 after St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Wallace granted a restraining order against enforcement of the local law. At the defense’s request, the matter has since been removed to the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri.

    At the second county court hearing on the matter, plaintiffs’ attorney Kathy A. Wisniewski, of Bryan Cave, accused Valley Park of directly copying a similar immigration law passed in Hazelton, Pa.

    The similarity was no coincidence: Kobach also represents city officials in Hazelton in their defense of that immigration law.

    “Valley Park is one of the cities that’s trying to do the right thing and directly enforce the efforts of the federal government,” Kobach said. “It’s not surprising when the rule of law appears to be breaking down in immigration, the governing bodies that suffer the most are trying to do something about it – and it needs to be defended. That’s why I’m passionate about these efforts.”

    Kobach said he got in touch with Valley Park city attorney Eric Martin shortly after Wallace granted the injunction.

    In addition to the Hazleton case, the law professor also helped draft an immigration ordinance for a city in Utah and is advancing a lawsuit against the Kansas Board of Regents for offering in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.

    Kobach said while working under former Attorney General John Ashcroft as an immigration adviser, he saw firsthand the difficulties of enforcing federal immigration laws.

    “Those difficulties are multiplied many times over by legal interests who are out in the courts actively undermining any effort to restore the rule of law,” he said. “This is a really important cause for our nation.”

    A third attorney, Lou Leonatti, also joined the case as counsel for Valley Park.

    Leonatti, the city counselor for Mexico, Mo., described Kobach as “the gentleman most knowledgeable about the constitutional and legal issues involved.”

    “I know there’s a lot of interest in the issue,” he said. “We decided we needed to have the guy who knows the most about it.”

    Leonatti said he was handling federal filings related to the attempted deposition of Valley Park Mayor Jeffery Whitteaker and the city’s eight aldermen.

    In an Oct. 17 interview, Saint Louis University law professor and plaintiffs’ attorney John Ammann expressed concern for Valley Park’s attempts to dodge the deposition of its city officials.

    “We’re puzzled as to why elected officials don’t want to discuss the meaning of their vote or the purpose of the law the adopted,” he said.

    In recent filings, Valley Park asserts that the strict separation of the judiciary and legislature protects local legislators from testifying about political beliefs that may have motivated their decisions.

    “It is abundantly clear that when a legislator debates proposed legislation, votes legislation, contemplates how to vote on proposed legislation, the thoughts, ideas and motives of the legislator cannot be questioned, he cannot be sued and he has no liability,” the city said in a filing.

    On Wednesday, Valley Park also filed a motion to dismiss all eight aldermen from the suit on the grounds the city’s Board of Aldermen does not enforce the immigration ordinance.

    According to court documents, the depositions of Whitteaker and the eight aldermen are still scheduled for Nov. 6 to 8.

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