Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Leftists Suddenly Discover Federalism

Leftists claimed after the passage of Arizona's 1070 law that authorities inferior to the United States could not act in contradiction to U.S. immigration policy. However, as usual, the left contradict themselves. Yet once again, an authority inferior to the United States has decided that it will maintain its own policy supporting illegal immigration. This time it is the federally created government of the District of Columbia, to wit the DC Court of Appeals, which has decided that an illegal alien unlawfully employed can receive workers compensation benefits.

An illegal immigrant injured while working can receive workers' compensation, the District's highest court has ruled.

Palemon Gonzales was working at a D.C. bar as a busboy on June 30, 2005, when a customer threw a bottle that hit Gonzales in the right eye, blinding him. Gonzales, an illegal immigrant, had to have his dislocated lens reattached through surgery, and he wasn't able to return to work -- at a different bar -- until Jan. 25, 2006. By then, Gonzales was already in the process of trying to collect workers' compensation benefits. Asylum Company, which owned the bar where Gonzales was injured, fought the claim, in part, on the grounds that it contends an illegal immigrant can't receive workers' compensation.

The D.C. Court of Appeals, however, says one can and Gonzales may now receive about $11,000.

One of the bar's owners, David Karim, is now a partner in the D.C. nightclub Josephine. He testified during Gonzales' workers' compensation hearing that the company wasn't aware until after the injury that Gonzales was an illegal immigrant, court documents said. The company thought Gonzales was Armando Casarrubias, Gonzales' cousin, whose name was on the immigration green card that Gonzales presented when he applied for a job at the bar.

It wasn't until July 17, 2005, a few weeks after Gonzales was hit by the bottle, that Karim said Asylum learned Gonzales' real identity, documents said. Up until that day, the hospital had been sending bills for Gonzales' surgery to Asylum. But the bills were in Gonzales' name and not in Casarrubias'. On July 17, 2005, however, Asylum pieced the puzzle together when Gonzales returned to the bar and asked to restart his job despite not being cleared to do so by his doctor. The bar management turned Gonzales away anyway because, Karim testified, they now knew Gonzales was an illegal immigrant.

The workers' compensation board awarded Gonzales benefits and the appeals court ruled that is legal under the District's workers compensation laws because, in part, doing so is "consistent with the principle that the [workers' compensation] Act is to be construed liberally to achieve its humanitarian purpose."

And the money quote:

Moreover, federal laws designed to deter illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S. do not usurp the local law, the appeals court said.

It was not too long ago that the left was arguing that inferior authorities could not even pass a law that contradicted policy, much less a federal law. But now they are saying that federal law is inferior to local law. Basically the DC Court of Appeals is saying that DC, and, by extension any State or municipality, can make their own immigration laws.


Streetsweeper Chronicles said...

If you take a look at federal motor carrier safety reg's, the precedent for federal law and regulations being over-rode by stricter local law or regulation was established years ago because of California's stricter safety reg's and law ;)

Federale said...

Sorry, I don't understand. There is a State that has stricter rules for manufacturers of passenger cars for safety equipment?

Streetsweeper Chronicles said...

Sorry, I had to get the right links to send you. Anyway, the elevator version is, California set the standards and the fed's follow right behind.

Check out these links:The first one is the fed reg dealing with stricter state and local statutes


This one is their main page.