2 hours ago
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Lou Barletta, media star
I expect him to make some appearances with Rick Santorum soon.
TL: Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta has been booked solid with national media interviews since he unveiled a local plan that cracks down on illegal immigrants and designates English as the city's official language.
He estimates he's done nearly 100 interviews with print, television and radio outlets all over the country and has received more than 7,000 e-mails.
He now has a website: Small Town Defenders
It doesn't tell you much about the controversy he invented but you are encouraged to sign his petition. As with most web petitions I suspect it's just a way of getting email addresses so they can can hit you up for a contribution later. Call me cynical. Maybe he is looking at another run at Paul Kanjorski. He lost to Kanjo in 2002 by about 22,000 votes. Not bad for a first time challenger and Paul will not be there forever.
Now everybody wants in on the act. The fathers and mothers of that progressive community of W-B Twp have proposed an illegal immigrant ordinance because they don't want "those people" to move from Hazleton to their corner of the world. Remember these are the same people that gave the Arena grief and it turned out it was the best thing that ever happened to the place. At least the Township solicitor has some common sense:
The municipality would have to prove the illegality of the resident, not the resident himself. With the easy availability of false documentation, shown several times through the years on various news programs, proving the illegality of a resident is not easy, Bruce Phillips noted, especially with the federal law taking the assumption that any foreigner in the country is here legally.
Individuals cannot challenge a foreigner to show proof of legal residency, he said, nor can a Social Security card be challenged unless it comes up demonstrably false.
Complete enforcement of these local ordinances may end up a federal issue, Phillips agreed.
That's right, it's up to the federal government to enforce the immigration laws, and they won't do it.