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Ruling on one of the hottest of hot-button issues, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down a set of local ordinances passed in Hazleton, Pa., designed to punish employers and landlords for doing business with “illegal aliens.”

In its 188-page opinion in Lozano v. City of Hazleton , the unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the local laws are barred by the Supremacy Clause because they would conflict with the complex set of federal immigration laws that govern employment and would intrude on the federal government’s exclusive power to decide whether an alien should be deported.

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