On March 3, the Supreme Court denied petitions for certiorari in two cases focused on city immigration ordinances. The cases, City of Farmers Branch v. Villas at Parkside Partners and City of Hazleton v. Lozano, concern ordinances passed in Farmers Branch, Texas and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Each law required property renters to carry verifiable identification that could be presented to immigration authorities. In turn, these authorities would fine landlords who rented to undocumented immigrants. Additionally, the Hazleton law set forth penalties for businesses that knowingly employed undocumented immigrants. In both cases, federal courts of appeal held that the ordinances were preempted by federal immigration law and struck them down.
The Supreme Court most recently dealt with the issue of immigration in 2012 when it partially upheld Arizona’s controversial immigration law. In that case, the Court noted that immigration issues were questions for the federal government, not local legislatures. The Court’s denial of the Farmers Branch and Hazleton appeals, along with its refusal to hear arguments in a 2013 immigration case from Alabama, signifies its reluctance to rule on state or city immigration laws.
-written by an HRI legal volunteer
Please refer to the following news articles for further reading:
We’re seeking an exceptional full-time undergraduate (freshman, sophomore or junior) college student for an exciting paid summer internship through the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program. Applicants should have a strong interest in human rights. This internship requires strong skills in research, writing, design, and communication. The candidate must be an undergraduate student who has completed his/her freshman year and is returning to school full-time in Fall 2014.
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas provides free legal services to victims of human rights abuses. HRI works with those who seek safe haven in the United States after suffering religious, social or political persecution in their homelands. Those granted asylum have suffered tremendous persecution and torture in their native lands for exercising the very freedoms that we take for granted: freedom of speech, of religious practice, of political belief, or of gender roles. We also assist immigrants with special abuse issues, such as women and children victims of domestic violence.
The Community Resources & Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for the creation of a “Newcomers Guide to America” handbook, designed to help HRI clients acclimate to the United States. As a part of this project, the intern will research various community resources, work one-on-one with clients to survey their needs, communicate and coordinate with various social services agencies throughout Dallas, and design, write, and photograph the complete handbook to be used by clients. The handbook will be used to help assist HRI clients in the future with simple tasks (such as using public transportation) and more difficult tasks (such as finding an apartment). HRI’s limited staff makes it difficult to provide these services to every client when they need it, and a handbook with detailed instructions will provide clients with the tools they need to become self-sufficient.
This ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program internship provides $2,750 for 8 weeks based on a 35-hour work week. If you’re interested in applying for this internship, please send a cover letter and resume to: Elisabeth Hagberg at EHagberg[at]hrionline.org.
No phone calls please. Application deadline is March 18th, 2014
Zeyla Gonzalez recently joined us in the role of Client Intake Manager. We’re excited to have her as part of our team! Her experience, bilingual skills, and wonderful attitude make her a great addition!
We asked Zeyla a few questions to learn more about her, and this what she had to say.
What brought you to HRI and what interests you most about what we do?
I was first told about HRI by one of my professors at UNT. She suggested that I get in contact with one of her former students (Zainab) after I told her that I wanted to volunteer for an organization that did work related to my International Studies degree. I got in contact with Zainab and began volunteering soon after that and now I’m here. The work that HRI does in helping immigrants start their lives on the right path in the United States is probably what interests me the most about our work. My parents are also immigrants and I am where I am today because they were allowed to follow their ‘American Dream.’ Having the ability to assist others in reaching that same dream is incredibly rewarding.
What excites you about your new role as Client Intake Manager? Is there something in particular you look forward to undertaking?
I am excited about learning more about our clients and their stories. As the Client Intake Manager I will be the initial contact for many potential clients and I am looking forward to meeting more of our clients and learning about their journeys that brought them here to HRI.
Do you have a favorite weekend activity?
I usually have pretty low key weekends. I usually try to get my dog out as much as possible during the weekends since I keep him indoors the majority of the week. We will usually go for a jog and I also take him to the dog park so he can run as much as his little heart desires.
Tell us a quick fun fact about yourself.
The first time I ever went out of Texas was to Thailand! I had never been on an airplane for more than an hour at a time and I was suddenly on a plane for 15 plus hours on my way to another continent when I had yet to see another American state.