Well before Arizona passed its controversial immigration law this year, a slew of other states and municipalities tried to pass laws targeting illegal immigrants. A federal appeals court ruled today that Hazleton, Pennsylvania, could not fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants or deny business permits to companies that hire them. The laws, spearheaded by Republican Mayor Lou Bartletta who's currently running for Congress, were passed in 2006 after two illegal immigrants were charged in a fatal shooting.
The federal appeals court ruled that the Hazleton laws were illegal because they pre-empted federal authority on immigration, which was the same rationale cited by the judge who blocked Arizona from implementing its immigration law this summer. "We are…required to intervene when states and localities directly undermine the federal objectives embodied in statutes enacted by Congress," wrote Chief Judge Theodore McKee.