Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mayor: 'I don't want them here'

Hazleton, Pennsylvania - and old fashioned town, once populated by ethnic white miners. Still it doesn't have big capitalist employers, fancy law firms, and oh-so-clever artsy boutiques. So here there is not such a disconnect between the elites and the common people - they are the same. And here the mayor answers to the people - not big-money.

Pennsylvania town presses for a crackdown against hiring or leasing to illegal immigrants

By MICHAEL RUBINKAMAssociated Press

HAZLETON, PA. - With tensions rising and the police department and municipal budget stretched thin, Hazleton is about to embark on one of the toughest crackdowns on illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Last week, the mayor of this former coal town introduced, and the City Council tentatively approved, a measure that would revoke the business licenses of companies that employ illegal immigrants; impose $1,000 fines on landlords who lease to illegal immigrants; and make English the official language of the city.

"Illegal immigrants are destroying the city," said Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican. "I don't want them here, period."

Barletta said he had no choice but to act after two illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic were charged last month with shooting and killing a 29-year-old man. Other recent incidents involving illegal immigrants have rattled this city 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia, including the arrest of a 14-year-old boy for firing a gun at a playground.

"This is crazy," the mayor said. "People are afraid to walk the streets. There's going to be law and order back in Hazleton, and I'm going to use every tool I possibly can."

It's refreshing. And it will take a couple years - but it will work.

2 Comments:

Blogger Internet Esquire said...

While this may not apply to you, the vast majority of people who complain about illegal immigrants are xenophobes who secretly harbor anti-immigrant and anti-minority sentiments. Xenophobes tend to conflate and demonize these three groups of people, and it seems pretty naive for someone to argue that the Hazleton ordinance will not be used to persecute United States citizens and legal residents who happen to be Latinos.

8:42 AM  
Blogger PuckPan said...

Incorrect. Anti-illegal immigrant is really about love - not hate. People who oppose immigration do so because they love their traditions, their heritage, and the country of their youth - which cannot be separated from the culture in which these traditions arose.

Those who support immigration (many of them at least) do so becuase they hate the culture, traditions, and faith of the American grassroots.

So we are both right - we reach different conclusions because we proceed from differnt passions - mine is love and yours is hate.

1:44 PM  

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