Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania is sick and tired of illegal aliens in his city and he vows to enact the toughest crackdown on them in the United States. He is being prompted by the murder of a man by illegal aliens and a 14-year-old illegal alien shooting a gun at a playground. People in the city are complaining that they're afraid to walk the streets in this old coal town with the massive influx of illegal aliens and crime.
The city's population has shot from 5% Hispanic to 30% Hispanic in only 6 years. While not all are illegal aliens, there is suspicion that a large majority are and they've brought drugs, gangs, crime and graffiti to the city that was formerly a quiet town.
Hey, guess what though? The racist group La Raza is already threatening lawsuits over the crackdown on illegal aliens.
"This is crazy," said Barletta, who took office in 2000. "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."
But Flavia Jimenez, an immigrant policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza, said local authorities typically are not equipped to enforce immigration laws. She predicted the Hazleton crackdown would prompt a civil rights lawsuit.
"It's about time," said Francis X. Tucci, 57, who was born and raised in Hazleton and owns a hair salon with tiny American flags in the window in the heart of the Hispanic business district. "We were a nice community."
Hispanics are divided. Some approve, saying they are fed up with crime and graffiti. "If I was mayor, I wouldn't let anyone in who had a criminal record," said Rafael Rovira, 69, a naturalized American citizen from the Dominican Republic.
Others view the proposal as punitive and unnecessary, saying that most illegal immigrants obey the law and only want to work. "It's going to scare a lot of people," said Christian Lechuga, 23, who emigrated from Mexico eight years ago.
The only people it will scare Christian are those here illegally and they should be scared. I find it funny that La Raza is "predicting" there will be a lawsuit.
It's pretty sad that American people have to defend their right to a quiet town where they can live and raise a family because a large group of people illegally entered our country and brought crime, gangs and drugs with them.
Good for Lou Barletta standing up for the people he was put in office to serve, he's a national hero. Will Lou Barletta be running for president in 08? I sure hope so.
Posted by: Ryan on June 21, 2006 07:00 PM
Mayor Barletta, like all mayors of all American cities, was put in office to serve ALL THE RESIDENTS of the city, not just citizens. We shouldn't forget that fact. Residents consist of citizens, immigrants with green cards, and immigrants without documents, even temporary visitors.
Mayor Barletta's statement about undocumented persons in Hazelton reminds me of what was said in 1916 about Italian (i.e., his ancestors and my ancestors) and other immigrants by Madison Grant, an anthropologist, in "The Passing of a Great Race": Grant said that "European governments unload upon careless, wealthy, and hospitable America the sweepings of their jails and asylums." Grant referred to southern Europeans, Slavs, and Jews as "a large and increasing number of the weak, the broken and the mentally crippled of all races drawn from the lowest stratum of the Mediterranean basin and the Balkans, together with hordes of the wretched, submerged populations of the Polish Ghettos. Our jails, insane asylums and almshouses are filled with this human flotsam and the whole tone of American life, social, moral and political has been lowered and vulgarized by them."
Compare Grant's statement to Barletta's, found on the City of Hazelton website.
Mayor Barletta has forgotten his Italian roots and the experience of his forebears in establishing a footing in America. He has subtly fallen prey to the prevailing racism of modern times which is very similar to the racism against other peoples at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Posted by: L. Facchino on June 22, 2006 04:04 AM
There is not another country in the world that has open borders and not a clue who lives within them. Our government has failed to protect us. If the Federal and State governments don't do anything to keep illegal aliens out then the communities have to do it. After all, they are the ones that have to increase property taxes to pay for the financial burden on social services, school systems and law enforcement that non-tax paying illegal aliens create. I lived in Fairfax County, Virginia and I have seen first hand how quickly a neighborhood can turn in to a Salvadorian slum, complete with gangs and gang related murders.I bet your ancestors entered the country legally. I did.
Unless you are employing undocumented workers your arguments do not make sense.
Posted by: Karin Byars on June 23, 2006 10:17 AM
One does not have to employ undocumented workers to understand their plight. I have worked in human services for over 40 years and have come to know the sincerity, hardships, hard work, and dedication of many, many immigrants, both with and without documents. Only a small percentage cause crime. Most work hard to feed their families.
Your arguments fail to make sense to me because you are generalizing. Your opinion is not based on a first hand knowledge and involvement with their lives, aspirations, and sufferings. Only Americans who have first built a fence around their hearts propose a fence along the border.
Los estadounidenses quienes no les han conocido personalmente a los inmigrantes son los que saltan a conclusiones generalizadas muy ajenas de la realidad de las vidas personales de los inmigrantes.
Posted by: L. Facchino on June 24, 2006 01:02 AM
I agree, this is getting to be a big issue and things need to be done on a natinal scale and not just in that town.
I am in favor of deporting "ILLEGAL" imigrants. After a certain time to allow them to become legal, and they fail to do so, then the only recourse is deportation.Period. No if's and's or but's. Time for OUR country to start standing up and enforcing laws. Laws that made this country great.Laws which our forfathers voted on to keep this country "USA" running smooth. It's running rough now,because we have problems and situations that should have never gotten started. We slept 2 times before and it cost us. Pearl Harbor and The Twin Towers. We need to take back our country before it's too late. 3rd time,,you're out!!
Posted by: J. Schlachter on June 25, 2006 12:29 AM
Do you know how long it can take to become 'legal'? That aside, it doesn't make sense to deport them. If we did that, WE would suffer.
Its simple, simple, simple they brake U.S. law they are a criminal, Illegal....No excuses thats that! About time someone has the stuff to call it as it is.
All illegal should be OUTA HERE.
All the best to you Mr.Mayor for doing what you are put into office to do.
Posted by: Don-Sandra Stack on July 16, 2006 08:08 PM
Mr Mayor i welcome you that your taking stand to crackdown illegal immigration people. Lame United States Democratic Party support illegal immigration to path of citizenship. Democratic Party do not understand that Illegal Immigration people are hurting the American Economy health care, education system, environment and many more. There is old quote "If You Cant Do the Time then Dont do Crime."