Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hazelton Mayor testifies crackdown on illegals was prompted by violent crime

It was a crime surge in an old Pennsylvania coal town that prompted a crackdown on illegal immigrants, Hazelton’s mayor testified, defending the ordinance against claims that it is unconstitutional. Lou Barletta said violent crime spiked 60 percent between 2003 and 2006, driving businesses away and making residents afraid to come out of their homes. In just weeks last spring illegal immigrants were arrested for fatally shooting a man, shooting a playground with a BB gun, and dealing drugs.

"People were demanding that something be done," Barletta said on the fourth day of a trial to determine the constitutionality of Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act. Passed last summer, the ordinance imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that employ them. Another measure requires tenants to register with City Hall.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to overturn the measures. Enforcement of the laws was barred pending trial, the first to examine local efforts to curb illegal immigration.

1 comment:

  1. Deems like every time we try to get something good done to try and save our Country from being taken over. It bounces right back at us.


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