Mayor: Where do Kanjorski, O'Brien, Kelly stand on the new law?
Hazleton, PA – Today, Hazleton Mayor and 11th Congressional District Candidate Lou Barletta strongly endorsed the Arizona law that cracks down against illegal immigration.
Arizona’s SB 1070 gives local and state law enforcement officials more authority to query the federal government about a person's immigration status.
“Four years ago, the failure of the federal government to address the problems created by millions of illegal aliens led me to introduce and champion the Illegal Immigration Relief Act in Hazleton. It's amazing to me that now, four years later, the federal government has still failed to secure our borders and deal with the drain of illegal immigration on municipalities and states,” Mayor Barletta said. “I commend Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona for signing into law what her courageous legislators passed. I understand the pressure they will now be under because I faced that very same pressure in Hazleton by the very same groups. I was called some of the very same names they’re being called right now.
“But, after reviewing the law and speaking with experts who helped draft the legislation, I am confident that the Arizona law includes sufficient safeguards against racial profiling and protects the rights of legal American citizens,” Mayor Barletta continued. “Just like the people of Hazleton several years ago, the people of Arizona were confronted with a dangerous problem and they looked to their elected officials for leadership. I’m proud to say I led the fight here in Hazleton, and I congratulate Gov. Brewer and Arizona lawmakers for standing tall in the face of misguided criticism.
“I'm disappointed but not surprised that the federal government is not taking any steps to stem the flow of illegal aliens into the United States,” Mayor Barletta added. “Our borders remain wide open to those wishing to sneak into this country. That poses an incredible threat to our national security. And, in these difficult economic times, the underground workforce of illegal aliens is taking jobs away from newly arrived legal immigrants, high school graduates, and other Pennsylvanians who desperately need a job.
Mayor Barletta started the national debate about illegal immigration in June 2006, when he proposed and spearheaded the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, an ordinance passed by the Hazleton City Council that requires all employers in the city to check the immigration status of all of its employees and for all landlords to keep on file a city-issued permit for all tenants. The ordinances also made English the language of official city business in Hazleton.
On the eve of the introduction of Pennsylvania’s own law, Mayor Barletta also asked where his opponents in the 11th Congressional District race – Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Corey O'Brien, and Brian Kelly – stand on the Arizona law.
“For more than a week, this legislation has been in the forefront of American debate, yet Mr. Kanjorski, Mr. O'Brien, and Mr. Kelly remain woefully silent on this critical national issue,” Mayor Barletta said. It's time they take a public position on this bill.
“I'd especially like to hear from Mr. Kanjorski, who absolutely needs to explain his inaction in securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal aliens into the United States, Pennsylvania, and the 11th District. “He cannot continue to hide behind spokesmen. Let's hear from him directly.”