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Federal judge blocks Pennsylvania city anti-immigration laws

[JURIST] US District Judge James Munley granted a temporary restraining order [PDF text] late Tuesday prohibiting the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania [official website] from enforcing the city's Illegal Immigration Relief Act [PDF text] and Landlord Tenant Ordinance [PDF text]. The local laws, designed to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to reside or work in the town, were set to take effect Wednesday morning.

Numerous community groups, business owners, and advocacy groups including the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund filed an amended complaint [PDF text; press release] Monday seeking the restraining order [motion, PDF; JURIST report]. The laws as initially written were delayed from taking effect [JURIST report] while the city made revisions to the measures and the second complaint alleged that the laws still violate the US Constitution because the federal government has the exclusive power to regulate immigration [CRS study]. Tuesday's temporary restraining order will block the laws from taking effect while the court considers the merits of the lawsuit. AP has more.

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