Borough of Bridgeport, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Bridgeport 11-28-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-005, approved 11-28-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Rental property — See Ch. 425.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Borough of Bridgeport Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance."
The people of the Borough of Bridgeport find and declare:
A. 
That state and federal law require that certain conditions be met before a person may be authorized to work or reside in this country.
B. 
That unlawful workers and illegal aliens, as defined by this chapter and state and federal law, do not normally meet such conditions as a matter of law when present in the Borough of Bridgeport.
C. 
That unlawful employment, the harboring of illegal aliens in dwelling units in the Borough of Bridgeport, and crime committed by illegal aliens harm the health, safety and welfare of authorized United States workers and legal residents in the Borough of Bridgeport. Illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, subjects our hospitals to fiscal hardship and legal residents to substandard quality of care, contributes to other burdens on public services, increasing their cost and diminishing their availability to legal residents, and diminishes our overall quality of life.
D. 
That the Borough of Bridgeport is authorized to abate public nuisances and empowered and mandated by the people of Bridgeport to abate the nuisance of illegal immigration by diligently prohibiting the acts and policies that facilitate illegal immigration in a manner consistent with federal law and the objectives of Congress.
E. 
That United States Code Title 8, § 1324(a)(I)(A), prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens. The provision of housing to illegal aliens is a fundamental component of harboring.
F. 
This chapter seeks to secure to those lawfully present in the United States and this Borough, whether or not they are citizens of the United States, the right to live in peace free of the threat of crime, to enjoy the public services provided by this Borough without being burdened by the cost of providing goods, support and services to aliens unlawfully present in the United States, and to be free of the debilitating effects on their economic and social well-being imposed by the influx of illegal aliens to the fullest extent that these goals can be achieved consistent with the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
G. 
The Borough shall not construe this chapter to prohibit the rendering of emergency medical care, emergency assistance, or legal assistance to any person.
When used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein, and shall be construed so as to be consistent with state and federal law, including federal immigration law:
BASIC PILOT PROGRAM
The electronic verification of work authorization program of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, Division C, Section 403(a); United States Code Title 8, § 1324a, and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security (or a successor program established by the federal government).
BOROUGH
The Borough of Bridgeport.
BUSINESS ENTITY
Any person or group of persons performing or engaging in any activity, enterprise, profession or occupation for gain, benefit, advantage or livelihood, whether for profit or not for profit.
A. 
The term "business entity" shall include but not be limited to self-employed individuals, partnerships, corporations, contractors and subcontractors.
B. 
The term "business entity" shall include any business entity that possesses a business permit, any business entity that is exempt by law from obtaining such a business permit and any business entity that is operating unlawfully without such a business permit.
CONTRACTOR
A person, employer, subcontractor or business entity that enters into an agreement to perform any service or work or to provide a certain product in exchange for valuable consideration. This definition shall include but not be limited to a subcontractor, contract employee, or a recruiting or staffing entity.
ILLEGAL ALIEN
An alien who is not lawfully present in the United States, according to the terms of United States Code Title 8, § 1101 et seq. The Borough shall not conclude that a person is an illegal alien unless and until an authorized representative of the Borough has verified with the federal government, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373(c), that the person is an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States.
UNLAWFUL WORKER
A person who does not have the legal right or authorization to work due to an impediment in any provision of federal, state or local law, including but not limited to a minor disqualified by nonage, or an unauthorized alien as defined by United States Code Title 8, § 1324a(h)(3).
WORK
Any job, task, employment, labor, personal services or any other activity for which compensation is provided, expected or due, including but not limited to all activities conducted by business entities.
A. 
It is unlawful for any business entity to recruit, hire for employment or continue to employ or to permit, dispatch or instruct any person who is an unlawful worker to perform work in whole or part within the Borough. Every business entity that applies for a business permit to engage in any type of work in the Borough shall sign an affidavit, prepared by the Borough Solicitor, affirming that it does not knowingly utilize the services or hire any person who is an unlawful worker.
B. 
Enforcement. The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall enforce the requirements of this section.
(1) 
An enforcement action shall be initiated by means of a written signed complaint to the Borough Code Enforcement Office submitted by any Borough official, business entity or Borough resident. A valid complaint shall include an allegation, which describes the alleged violator(s) as well as the action(s) constituting the violation and the date and location where such action(s) occurred.
(2) 
A complaint which alleges a violation solely or primarily on the basis of national origin, ethnicity or race shall be deemed invalid and shall not be enforced.
(3) 
Upon receipt of a valid complaint, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall, within three business days, request identity information from the business entity regarding any persons alleged to be unlawful workers. The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall suspend the business permit of any business entity which fails within three business days after receipt of the request to provide such information. In instances where an unlawful worker is alleged to be an unauthorized alien, as defined in United States Code Title 8, § 1324a(h)(3), the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall submit identity data required by the federal government to verify, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373, the immigration status of such person(s), and shall provide the business entity with written confirmation of that verification.
(4) 
The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall suspend the business permit of any business entity that fails to correct a violation of this section within three business days after notification of the violation by the Borough Code Enforcement Office.
(5) 
The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall not suspend the business permit of an entity if, prior to the date of the violation, the business entity had verified the work authorization of the alleged unlawful worker(s) using the Basic Pilot Program.
(6) 
The suspension shall terminate one business day after a legal representative of the business entity submits, at a Borough office designated by the Borough Solicitor, a sworn affidavit stating that the violation has ended.
(a) 
The affidavit shall include a description of the specific measures and actions taken by the business entity to end the violation and shall include the name, address and other adequate identifying information of the unlawful worker(s) related to the complaint.
(b) 
Where two or more of the unlawful workers were verified by the federal government to be unauthorized aliens, the legal representative of the business entity shall submit to the Borough Code Enforcement Office, in addition to the prescribed affidavit, documentation acceptable to the Borough Solicitor, which confirms that the business entity has enrolled in and will participate in the Basic Pilot Program for the duration of the validity of the business permit granted to the business entity.
(7) 
For a second or subsequent violation, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall suspend the business permit of a business entity for a period of 20 days. After the end of the suspension period, and upon receipt of the prescribed affidavit, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall reinstate the business permit. The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall forward the affidavit, complaint and associated documents to the appropriate federal enforcement agency, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373. In the case of an unlawful worker disqualified by state law not related to immigration, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall forward the affidavit, complaint and associated documents to the appropriate state enforcement agency.
C. 
All agencies of the Borough shall enroll and participate in the Basic Pilot Program.
D. 
As a condition for the award of any Borough contract or grant to a business entity for which the value of employment, labor or personal services shall exceed $10,000, the business entity shall provide documentation confirming its enrollment and participation in the Basic Pilot Program.
E. 
Private cause of action for unfairly discharged employees:
(1) 
The discharge of any employee who is not an unlawful worker by a business entity in the Borough is an unfair business practice if, on the date of the discharge, the business entity was not participating in the Basic Pilot Program and the business entity was employing an unlawful worker.
(2) 
The discharged worker shall have a private cause of action in the Municipal Court of the Borough against the business entity for the unfair business practice. The business entity found to have violated this subsection shall be liable to the aggrieved employee for:
(a) 
Three times the actual damages sustained by the employee, including, but not limited to, lost wages or compensation from the date of the discharge until the date the employee has procured new employment at an equivalent rate of compensation, up to a period of 120 days; and
(b) 
Reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
A. 
It is unlawful for any person or business entity that owns a dwelling unit in the Borough to harbor an illegal alien in the dwelling unit, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered or remains in the United States in violation of law, unless such harboring is otherwise expressly permitted by federal law.
(1) 
For the purposes of this section, to let, lease or rent a dwelling unit to an illegal alien, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered or remains in the United States in violation of law, shall be deemed to constitute harboring. To suffer or permit the occupancy of the dwelling unit by an illegal alien, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered or remains in the United States in violation of law, shall also be deemed to constitute harboring.
(2) 
A separate violation shall be deemed to have been committed on each day that such harboring occurs, and for each adult illegal alien harbored in the dwelling unit, beginning one business day after receipt of a notice of violation from the Borough Code Enforcement Office.
(3) 
A separate violation of this section shall be deemed to have been committed for each business day on which the owner fails to provide the Borough Code Enforcement Office with identity data needed to obtain a federal verification of immigration status, beginning three days after the owner receives written notice from the Borough Code Enforcement Office.
B. 
Enforcement. The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall enforce the requirements of this section.
(1) 
An enforcement action shall be initiated by means of a written signed complaint to the Borough Code Enforcement Office submitted by any official, business entity or resident of the Borough. A valid complaint shall include an allegation, which describes the alleged violator(s) as well as the actions constituting the violation and the date and location where such actions occurred.
(2) 
A complaint, which alleges a violation solely or primarily on the basis of national origin, ethnicity or race shall be deemed invalid and shall not be enforced.
(3) 
Upon receipt of a valid written complaint, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373(c), verify with the federal government the immigration status of a person seeking to use, occupy, lease or rent a dwelling unit in the Borough. The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall submit identity data required by the federal government to verify immigration status. The Borough shall forward identity data provided by the owner to the federal government and shall provide the property owner with written confirmation of that verification.
(4) 
If after five business days following receipt of written notice from the Borough that a violation has occurred and that the immigration status of any alleged illegal alien has been verified, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373(c), the owner of the dwelling unit fails to correct a violation of this section, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall deny or suspend the rental license of the dwelling unit.
(5) 
For the period of suspension, the owner of the dwelling unit shall not be permitted to collect any rent, payment, fee or any other form of compensation from, or on behalf of, any tenant or occupant in the dwelling unit.
(6) 
The denial or suspension shall terminate one business day after a legal representative of the dwelling unit owner submits to the Borough Code Enforcement Office a sworn affidavit stating that each and every violation has ended. The affidavit shall include a description of the specific measures and actions taken by the business entity to end the violation and shall include the name, address and other adequate identifying information for the illegal aliens who were the subject of the complaint.
(7) 
The Borough Code Enforcement Office shall forward the affidavit, complaint and associated documents to the appropriate federal enforcement agency, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373.
(8) 
Any unit owner who commits a second or subsequent violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of $250 for each separate violation. The suspension provisions of this section applicable to a first violation shall also apply.
(9) 
Upon the request of a dwelling unit owner, the Borough Code Enforcement Office shall, pursuant to United States Code Title 8, § 1373(c), verify with the federal government the lawful immigration status of a person seeking to use, occupy, lease, or rent a dwelling unit in the Borough. The penalties in this section shall not apply in the case of dwelling unit occupants whose status as an alien lawfully present in the United States has been verified.
A. 
The requirements and obligations of this chapter shall be implemented in a manner fully consistent with federal law regulating immigration and protecting the civil rights of all citizens and aliens.
B. 
If any part of provision of this chapter is in conflict or inconsistent with applicable provisions of federal or state statutes, or is otherwise held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction, such part of provision shall be suspended and superseded by such applicable laws or regulations, and the remainder of this chapter shall not be affected thereby.