MALDEF Sues Again To Block Valley Park Anti-Immigrant Ordinance

Local government already rebuffed by state court

March 13, 2007

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has filed a petition today before the Circuit Court for the County of St. Louis, State of Missouri, challenging a new version of the recently defeated anti-immigrant ordinances in Valley Park, Missouri. MALDEF filed the petition jointly with the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, the law firm of Green Jacobson & Butsch, P.C., the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project.

This week, State Court Judge Barbara W. Wallace ordered that the temporary restraining orders enjoining enforcement of Ordinance No. 1708 and Ordinance No. 1715 be made permanent. However, prior to Judge Wallace’s March 12th Order, the City of Valley Park had enacted new ordinances which related to the same subject matter. MALDEF has argued in the petition that the new Ordinances are also unlawful because they violate the Supremacy Clause and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the Fair Housing Act.

“It is apparent that there are those who will not be dissuaded from pursuing their goal of isolating and discriminating against immigrants who have long been part of this community’s growth and financial stability,” stated Ricardo Meza, MALDEF Midwest Regional Counsel. “We are committed to ending these local attacks on immigrants and renewing our call on the federal government to take action on comprehensive immigration reform so as to put an end to these local efforts all across the nation.”

“This is a nation of immigrants and the treatment of immigrants is an important matter that must be handled fairly and uniformly. Regulating immigration is a job for the federal government. Allowing any municipality to make its own rules will create patchwork of laws in which immigrants are treated differently from state to state and from town to town,” added Tony Rothert, Legal Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund