Sunday, July 23, 2006

Immigration Politics in Hazleton, Pennsylvania

In a previous blog post, I pointed out that crime in Hazleton, Pennsylvania has decreased since the year 2000 even as the Latino population has increased by some 30 percent, thereby disproving the claims of Hazelton's mayor Louis Barletta that (1) there had been an increase in crime in Hazleton and that (2) that increase could be attributed to a sudden influx of illegal immigrants. Previously, I attributed Mayor Barletta's actions to the fact he is a demagogue who is pandering to the xenopohobia of his constituents, and while I haven't yet stated so on my blog, I expected that Barletta's euphemistically titled Illegal Immigration Relief Act would eventually prove itself to be vulnerable to various legal challenges that are currently in the works. What I did say was that such legal challenges stood little chance of changing the hearts and minds of the xenophobes who supported the passage of the Hazleton ordinance which nominally targeted illegal immigration.

While exploring the blogosphere for ongoing commentary regarding the status of the situation in Hazleton, I stumbled upon a Pennsylvania blogger who was discussing the background of an Associated Press (AP) story narrating the vulnerability of the Hazleton ordinance to a court challenge. Said blogger pointed out a detail that I had missed when reading the AP story previously:
"The [Congressional Research Service] completed its analysis on June 29, before the ordinance was approved. It was requested by U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a Democrat whose district includes Hazleton and who survived a challenge from Barletta in the fall 2002 election."
Said blogger also pointed out that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell had weighed in on the merits of the Hazleton ordinance:
"'The only ones I want to hear speaking up and complaining about immigration are the Native Americans who we screwed,' Rendell said to a gathering of young professionals on Thursday."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


bottom line is, illegal immigration is out of control and the federal government either isnt doing enough or isnt appearing to do enough about it. we have 12 million to [more likely] 20 million illegals as it is now. So states/cities/towns feel that they have to step up to the plate instead and do what our government should do but wont - try and take away the incentives for illegals to move to thier cities.

can anyone really blame them ? i cant.

call it racism, xenophobio whatever floats your boat. but the multi-million numbers dont lie.

8:44 PM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous m.davies said...

Most mainstream Americans of Hispanic roots oppose illegal immigration, want the numbers reduced and do not agree with rewarding amnesty/citizenship to those who refuse to respect our laws. See,

5:42 AM, January 16, 2007  

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