WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, PA-11, praised the United States Supreme Court decision issued Monday morning that erases the Third Circuit Court of Appeals against Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

Monday's Supreme Court decision vacates that ruling and sends the case back to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The high court ordered the Third Circuit Court to re-examine the Hazleton ordinances in light of the Supreme Court's upholding of Arizona's "Legal Arizona Workers Act."

That law, upheld by the Supreme Court on May 26, was specifically modeled on the law Representative Barletta spearheaded when he was mayor of Hazleton in 2006. Both laws were drafted by one of the nation's leading immigration law experts, Kris Kobach, now the secretary of state in Kansas.

"Hazleton got exactly what it was seeking from the United States Supreme Court – it reviewed the Third Circuit's decision, it vacated that decision, and it sent the case back to the lower court for reconsideration in light of the Arizona law case. That does not happen very often, so this is a huge victory for Hazleton," Barletta said. "Monday's ruling proves that the decision by the Third Circuit Court in the Hazleton case is in direct conflict with the Supreme Court's recent upholding of the Arizona law, so the Supreme Court completely erased that ruling."

"This is a great day for the City of Hazleton, and for all of the cities and states that are trying to cope with the substantial burdens imposed by illegal immigration," he said.. "Hazleton paved the way for all other cities and states to enact similar laws."

Under the leadership of then-Mayor Barletta, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was the first city in the country to pass local ordinances aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigration and the draining of small-town budgets by illegal immigration. Those ordinances, first passed on June 15, 2006, paved the way for other municipalities and states to enact similar laws.