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Federal judge dismisses Idaho illegal immigration lawsuit

[JURIST] A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit brought by an Idaho county against local employers who allegedly hired illegal immigrants which sought to recover medical, school and other costs the county said it spent on the workers. Canyon County [official website] sued four businesses and the director of the nonprofit Idaho Migrant Council [advocacy group] under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act [text] alleging that the defendant companies conspired to hire hundreds of illegal immigrants, marking the first time that a government tried to sue under RICO to recoup costs spent on illegal workers. US District Judge Edward Lodge ruled that the county's argument that the hiring of illegal aliens posed a public nuisance had no grounds in state law and also that the county did not have standing to bring the suit. Lodge wrote that the county was not acting in a governmental capacity but instead as a private party to a civil lawsuit and that the attempt to recover costs of municipal services - a "general injury" to the county's ability to carry out its functions - was not an injury to "business or property." County commissioner Robert Vasquez indicated that the decision could be appealed. AP has more.

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