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News update

 
 

Mayor Who Put Hazleton on the Map "Anointed" by Voters for a Third Term


May 16, 2007

Washington DC - When Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Mayor Lou Barletta took the bold step of implementing local ordinances to curb illegal immigration in his city, he was widely described as "controversial." Barletta's strong stance against illegal immigration was so "controversial," in fact, that the two-term Republican not only won yesterday's Republican primary with 94.4 percent of the vote, but he won the Democratic nomination through a write-in campaign by nearly a 2-1 margin. Given the opportunity to express their views on Barletta's battle against illegal immigration, Hazleton residents did not so much as elect him to a third term, but virtually anointed him their mayor for the next four years.

The voters' judgment on Mayor Barletta presents an interesting contrast to a local election that took place in Herndon, Virginia, exactly one year ago. In that local election, the central campaign issue was the mayor's and city council's decision to fund an illegal alien day labor center, in spite of widespread public opposition. While Mayor Barletta was re-elected by acclaim in Hazleton, the mayor and all but one of the Herndon council members who voted to accommodate illegal aliens were swept out of office.

 
"FAIR congratulates Mayor Barletta not only for his remarkable and convincing victory in yesterday's election, but for his strong and principled stance against illegal immigration," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). "Mayor Barletta has not only demonstrated how local governments can take an effective stance against illegal immigration in their communities, but he has proven that doing so is politically popular."

Since Hazleton moved to curtail illegal immigration by imposing local penalties against employers who hire and landlords who rent to illegal aliens, similar local policies have been adopted by cities all across the United States. "Mayor Barletta's sweeping bipartisan reelection proves, once again, that the assortment of illegal alien rights and civil liberties groups who file lawsuits challenging local ordinances and
 

 


otherwise make a lot of noise, represent absolutely no one but themselves. When it comes to enforcing laws against illegal immigration, there simply is no controversy," declared Stein.

Barletta's convincing affirmation of his policies against illegal immigration comes precisely amidst Senate deliberations on legislation that would grant amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens, which is supported by President Bush. "According to the latest polls, the only people who are held in lower regard by the public than President Bush is Congress. The readiness of the people in Washington to sell out the interests of working Americans on immigration is emblematic of why they are held in such low esteem," Stein noted. "Back home, where Americans live with the consequences of unchecked illegal immigration, politicians who are prepared to enforce laws and protect ordinary citizens, enjoy overwhelming public support. The message out of Hazleton yesterday was very clear: Supporting immigration enforcement is perhaps the least controversial political position in America today."



 
 
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