CurlTalk

City Passes Harsh Law Against Illegal Immigrants

dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
Full article here

Now that this case has passed, I think more cities will soon follow. I know immigration is a complex issue, but this makes me very disheartened. :?
HAZLETON, Pa. (July 14) - The City Council approved a law Thursday night designed to make this small city in northeastern Pennsylvania among the most hostile places in the U.S. for illegal immigrants to live or work.

The 4-to-1 vote came after nearly two hours of passionate debate. Opponents argued it was divisive and possibly illegal, but supporters said illegal immigrants' growing numbers have damaged the quality of life here.

"We must draw the line, and we are doing it tonight," Mayor Lou Barletta told a packed council chambers.

Barletta proposed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act last month as a response to what he said were Hazleton's problems with violent crime, crowded schools, hospital costs and the demand for services.

The ordinance would deny licenses to businesses that employ illegal immigrants, fine landlords $1,000 for each illegal immigrant discovered renting their properties, and require city documents to be in English only.

"The illegal citizens, I would recommend they leave," Barletta said after the meeting.

"What you see here tonight, really, is a city that wants to take back what America has given it," said the mayor, who said he wore a bulletproof vest to the meeting. He said he had not been threatened but took precautions because the issue was so emotionally charged.

Outside City Hall, about 300 people gathered with opponents of the measure, some with signs that read "Bias," separated by a line of police from supporters, some waving American flags.

Anna Arias spoke at the council meeting against the law. She asked the council, "Are any of us ready to support U.S. citizens born of someone who is undocumented?" Several people in the audience responded, "Yes!"

She warned the council that approving the ordinance would make Hazleton "the first Nazi city in the country."

Council Vice President Jack Mundie voted for the ordinance.

"We're against illegal immigrants that are coming here and that are draining the resources of our city," he said.

The Republican mayor's proposal has thrust the city, with a population of 31,000, to the fore of the national debate on illegal immigration.

The number of Hispanic residents in Hazleton, a former coal-mining town about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia, has increased dramatically in the past six years.
People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
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Comments

  • internetchickinternetchick Posts: 6,191Registered Users
    Reminds of a vanity plate I saw on a car a few weeks back. It said "Welcome to America. Now Go Home"
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    I don't agree with that law, but I do agree that businesses that employ illegal aliens should be held responsible in some way.

    I also think that Mexico, where I believe the majority of illegals hail from, should be making major changes too. If there were jobs there that paid well enough to support a family, there wouldn't be such a tide of illegals trying to cross the border.

    That being said, I don't think AT ALL that the illegals themselves aren't at fault - of course they are. They could've become citizens. Yes, it's a lengthy and difficult process...but there IS a process.

    This situation is going to get much, much uglier before it gets any better, I'm afraid. There are no cut and dried answers.
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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I agree with fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants. People come here because they can get jobs. If the lawmakers are serious about not encouraging illegal immigrants, then they need to start there.

    The landlords and english only provisions are ridiculous.
    I also think it's ridiculous that it is assumed that illegal immigrants bring crime, when they admittedly oin the article don't know how many illegal immigrants there are or what is actually causing the crime.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    geeky wrote:
    I agree with fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants. People come here because they can get jobs. If the lawmakers are serious about not encouraging illegal immigrants, then they need to start there.

    The landlords and english only provisions are ridiculous.
    I also think it's ridiculous that it is assumed that illegal immigrants bring crime, when they admittedly oin the article don't know how many illegal immigrants there are or what is actually causing the crime.

    Totally agree.
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Rock on with your bad self.

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    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Posts: 3,854Registered Users
    This city is in my general area. It's been a pretty touchy issue. I can see his point, but I'm not sure I agree. I mean, the crime rate there is terrible, and so much of that is within the illegal immigrant population. The mayor has made the point before (didn't read this particular article because it's been all over the news here) that the law doesn't name any specific ethnicity or language, and that they're concerned with anyone here illegally. It's also been mentioned that he's just pushing them out into the surrounding cities (mine included), and that these cities are going to be almost forced into making the same kind of law.
    Under construction.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I do not condone breaking the law...and that's what undocumented immigrants are doing, as are the employers who hire them and property owners who *knowingly* rent to them. Yes, hit them in the wallet.

    The English-only thing? No, that's stupid. Let people read in the language they like and are most proficient in.

    If you want provide entre to more prospective immigrants, change the US immigration laws! Don't try to circumvent them...

  • outtahereouttahere Posts: 343Registered Users
    I mean, the crime rate there is terrible, and so much of that is within the illegal immigrant population.

    I'm going to warn you ahead of time that certain folks here will dispute that till the end. I don't care if you have statistics or newscasts, or whatever to back it up. Or maybe I'm the only one they like to jump on, but they also went after someone else for posting something similar. You may've already seen the other immigration threads. There's something about race-related topics and this board... Just a word of warning. :) Once bitten, twice shy - I'm backing out of the conversation right now!
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Kenzie_06 wrote:
    I'm going to warn you ahead of time that certain folks here will dispute that till the end. I don't care if you have statistics or newscasts, or whatever to back it up. Or maybe I'm the only one they like to jump on, but they also went after someone else for posting something similar. You may've already seen the other immigration threads. There's something about race-related topics and this board... Just a word of warning. :) Once bitten, twice shy - I'm backing out of the conversation right now!

    Perhaps you are the one people like to jump on becaue you like to take every opportunity to remind everyone that you were the one that said Latino immigrants bring crime. Just a thought.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Posts: 3,854Registered Users
    Kenzie_06 wrote:
    I mean, the crime rate there is terrible, and so much of that is within the illegal immigrant population.

    I'm going to warn you ahead of time that certain folks here will dispute that till the end. I don't care if you have statistics or newscasts, or whatever to back it up. Or maybe I'm the only one they like to jump on, but they also went after someone else for posting something similar. You may've already seen the other immigration threads. There's something about race-related topics and this board... Just a word of warning. :) Once bitten, twice shy - I'm backing out of the conversation right now!

    I read in a post that there were no statistics, but there were many specific cases named in interviews here. I'm the first to admit that since the mayor was the one giving the information, and he's for the law, I didn't hear the other side. It's not something I'm really going to argue, because I don't information from both sides in Hazleton. So if people disagree and dispute it, I'm not going to step in and argue the other side. I know when I don't know enough to argue a point well. :wink:

    ETA: Just to make it clear, I do not think that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, inherently bring crime with them.
    Under construction.
  • BohemianRenegadeBohemianRenegade Posts: 1,078Registered Users
    I do not condone breaking the law...and that's what undocumented immigrants are doing, as are the employers who hire them and property owners who *knowingly* rent to them. Yes, hit them in the wallet.

    The English-only thing? No, that's stupid. Let people read in the language they like and are most proficient in.

    If you want provide entre to more prospective immigrants, change the US immigration laws! Don't try to circumvent them...
    require city documents to be in English only.
    The English only thing is for official documents, so that makes sense. I think they finally made English the U.S.'s official language (or they are trying to), so yes goverment documents should be in English only.
    Trying to find some sanity as I work on my master's in nursing...
  • SystemSystem Posts: 39,059 Administrator
    geeky wrote:
    I agree with fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants. People come here because they can get jobs. If the lawmakers are serious about not encouraging illegal immigrants, then they need to start there.

    The landlords and english only provisions are ridiculous.
    I also think it's ridiculous that it is assumed that illegal immigrants bring crime, when they admittedly oin the article don't know how many illegal immigrants there are or what is actually causing the crime.

    I could not agree more :!:
  • papayahedpapayahed Posts: 1,282Registered Users
    geeky wrote:
    I agree with fining businesses that hire illegal immigrants. People come here because they can get jobs. If the lawmakers are serious about not encouraging illegal immigrants, then they need to start there.

    The landlords and english only provisions are ridiculous.
    I also think it's ridiculous that it is assumed that illegal immigrants bring crime, when they admittedly oin the article don't know how many illegal immigrants there are or what is actually causing the crime.

    I could not agree more :!:

    Me too.
  • ZzZoeZzZoe Posts: 80Registered Users
    Barletta doesnt sound like a native American surname to me.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I do not condone breaking the law...and that's what undocumented immigrants are doing, as are the employers who hire them and property owners who *knowingly* rent to them. Yes, hit them in the wallet.

    The English-only thing? No, that's stupid. Let people read in the language they like and are most proficient in.

    If you want provide entre to more prospective immigrants, change the US immigration laws! Don't try to circumvent them...
    require city documents to be in English only.
    The English only thing is for official documents, so that makes sense. I think they finally made English the U.S.'s official language (or they are trying to), so yes goverment documents should be in English only.

    I'm no 100% here, but I think the vote was to make English the "national" language. There is a difference, I believe, between that and an "official" language. I believe one requires all docs to be in English and the other (less stringent) says that there is no responsibility on the part of the government to provide docs in any language besides English...if it doesn't want to. And I think the "national language" thing is the less stringent. But not 100% sure. And if it is, it may be left up to the local municipality or county or state to interpret it as it sees fit.

  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I think it's good to remember that there are plenty of legal immigrants in this country. And having documents in their native language can help make their lives easier during either their temporary stay or through the process of becoming legal immigrants and learning English.

    I think the English-only provision is just punitive and xenophobic, pure and simple.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
    I wonder how or if this will affect school systems. We are required to be sure the parent can understand what we're saying/writing to a high extent, and it is illegal for us to ask for documentation of citizenship. Will it become legal for us to deny the children of illegal immigrants education so that we're not aiding the cause? Or, will the government start accessing school records for the purpose of monitoring illegal immigrants?
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    dia99 wrote:
    I wonder how or if this will affect school systems. We are required to be sure the parent can understand what we're saying/writing to a high extent, and it is illegal for us to ask for documentation of citizenship. Will it become legal for us to deny the children of illegal immigrants education so that we're not aiding the cause? Or, will the government start accessing school records for the purpose of monitoring illegal immigrants?

    I seriously doubt they would place that burden on a teacher.

    But yes, I can see the kids' school records being an automatic target...so easy.

  • dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
    dia99 wrote:
    I wonder how or if this will affect school systems. We are required to be sure the parent can understand what we're saying/writing to a high extent, and it is illegal for us to ask for documentation of citizenship. Will it become legal for us to deny the children of illegal immigrants education so that we're not aiding the cause? Or, will the government start accessing school records for the purpose of monitoring illegal immigrants?

    I seriously doubt they would place that burden on a teacher.

    But yes, I can see the kids' school records being an automatic target...so easy.

    No, I didn't mean teachers (sorry). I meant school systems, and individual school administrators (principals, business managers, secretaries, etc.) - the office staff is who does intake.
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • velvet pawsvelvet paws Posts: 1,250Registered Users
    geeky wrote:
    I think it's good to remember that there are plenty of legal immigrants in this country. And having documents in their native language can help make their lives easier during either their temporary stay or through the process of becoming legal immigrants and learning English.

    I think the English-only provision is just punitive and xenophobic, pure and simple.

    Yes.

    Also, I just want to say that if people want to illegal immigrants out of the country so badly, I hope they are willing to deal with the impacts on their own lifestyle that change is going to bring. Somehow I doubt the more vociferous supporters of the anti-Mexican movement (because let's just call it what it is) have really thought that through.

    Illegal Immigrants are just 2006's Gay Marriage - an emotionally charged, divisive issue designed to distract folks. Are people really that stupid? Has the United States collectively gone nuts? I mean, wtf?
    3A / 2B / 2C wavicelli

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  • EliciaElicia Posts: 881Registered Users
    geeky wrote:
    The landlords and english only provisions are ridiculous.
    I also think it's ridiculous that it is assumed that illegal immigrants bring crime, when they admittedly oin the article don't know how many illegal immigrants there are or what is actually causing the crime.

    ItA

    Perhaps you are the one people like to jump on becaue you like to take every opportunity to remind everyone that you were the one that said Latino immigrants bring crime. Just a thought.
    Get out of my head Geeky .
  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Posts: 24,963Banned Users
    Yep, this is a huge source of contention. I'm doing a rather lengthy paper on this very topic...Should the US give amnesty to all illegal immigrants?

    Do y'all remember what happened in California with then Gov Pete Wilson back in '94 w/ Prop 197 & then Prop 227?

    As someone else has said, it will get worse before it gets better. Something definitely needs to be done...Our healthcare is in deep doo doo...jmo
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  • legendslegends Posts: 3,073Registered Users
    I totally agree with geeky.
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  • wild_sasparillawild_sasparilla Posts: 4,306Registered Users
    While school was still in, I was assigned a letter to my senator about house bill HR4437. It dealt with these problems, except for that idiotic English-only thing.
    If the talk really was of making it our "national language", that is incredibly stupid. I live in Southern California, and believe me, there are plenty of legal immigrants who need the Spanish translations that are ubiquitous here. Besides, I feel those of us for whom English is the native tongue benefit from knowing so much Spanish through osmosis.
    And how are we supposed to choose one language in a country full of immigrants anyway?
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  • ~915~~915~ Posts: 519Registered Users
    To the original question, I don't agree.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,632Registered Users
    I don't agree with this law, especially the landlord part. :( I would be curious to read the entire text of the law as passed. There has been quite a backlash about this news so I predict they will backpedal on it.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Posts: 3,854Registered Users
    I don't agree with this law, especially the landlord part. :( I would be curious to read the entire text of the law as passed. There has been quite a backlash about this news so I predict they will backpedal on it.

    It might happen, but I wouldn't be so sure. This has been in the works quite a while, and it's been in the news, both local and national, before it passed. It has picked up more national coverage recently, so added pressure may mean something, but I'm not sure.
    Under construction.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,632Registered Users
    Befrizzled wrote:
    It might happen, but I wouldn't be so sure. This has been in the works quite a while, and it's been in the news, both local and national, before it passed. It has picked up more national coverage recently, so added pressure may mean something, but I'm not sure.

    Are there local elections coming up in November? This time of year we will often see "tough on yada yada yada" laws, speeches, etc., from the politicians. Maybe this is pandering to a certain constituency?

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Posts: 3,854Registered Users
    Befrizzled wrote:
    It might happen, but I wouldn't be so sure. This has been in the works quite a while, and it's been in the news, both local and national, before it passed. It has picked up more national coverage recently, so added pressure may mean something, but I'm not sure.

    Are there local elections coming up in November? This time of year we will often see "tough on yada yada yada" laws, speeches, etc., from the politicians. Maybe this is pandering to a certain constituency?

    Barletta, as far as I know, hasn't decided whether he'll seek another term, but those elections will be in 2007. I'm not sure about the council members.
    Under construction.
  • wonderdiana - shopaholic takes a napwonderdiana - shopaholic takes a nap Posts: 1,728Registered Users
    I don't think businesses should employ illegal immigrants BUT that is because businesses mostly do so in order to save on labor. There was a man here in Connecticut who owned a number of Dunkin' Donuts where he had employed illegal Portuguese immirgrants. The owner had these people working every day, more than 8 hours a day for only $250 a week. I think that guy is going to be out a ton of money and he deserves it.

    As far as renting appartments to illegal immigrants... dude, I can't even afford an appartment and I've lived here my whole life! I say if the illegal immigrants can pay for these appartments let them have 'em. Does the average person who rents appartments have the time and means to check on someone's legal status? We have US citizens who thnk Puerto Ricans aren't citizens and that people who aren't citizens can't are automatically not here legally.

    And the thing about all documents only being in English... that's probably the stupidest part of the whole thing. The last time I checked English is not the United States' official language, yes? Even in countries where there is an official language there are documents in other languages.
    2C/3A -- wurly!
  • gggg Posts: 1,865Registered Users

    And the thing about all documents only being in English... that's probably the stupidest part of the whole thing. The last time I checked English is not the United States' official language, yes? Even in countries where there is an official language there are documents in other languages.

    If English is not the official language of the US then what is? Portuguese? Arabic? I sure thought it was English. Why is it so far fetched for people to come here and learn English? I have no problem with people speaking whatever language they choose but if one expects to live here and be able to live the easiest way they can, why doesn't it make sense to also learn English?

    If I were to move to Poland I think it would behove me to learn Polish. I would not expect Poland or Russia or China to accomodate me just because I don't speak or refuse to learn the language. I think there needs to be a common means of communication on some level.

    The problem I see is where do we draw the line to accomodate everyone who doesn't speak English? How many languages are spoken here? It's possibly in the thousands. Are we going to have every single document, government form, street sign, menu, warning label, cereal box, court report, can of rat poison etc. printed in the thousands of languages that can be spoken here? That would cost money, kill more trees and just doesn't make sense to me. So why is it so wrong to tell people they need to learn to read and speak at least some Engligh?

    Is a person who speaks Amharic going to feel discriminated against because there are no Amharic forms? What is the use of keeping encouraging people who come here not to learn to read or speak English? I just don't get it.

    Now you might say well there aren't many immigrants from Malawi. Are you going to tell them sorry we don't support the Chichewa language so it's either learn English to be able to live or take up Spanish because there's plenty of Spanish or French speakers who deserve to have everything else printed in Spanish or French but no not Chichewa? Why would we even print anything in Chichewa? So yeah I just don't get why it's so wrong to have everything in English. If we accomodate 2 languages why shouldn't we accomadate them all?

    Partial list of languages.

    Acoli
    Adangme (Ghana)
    Afrikaans (South Africa)
    Aguacateco (Guatemala)
    Agusan Manobo (Philippines)
    Ahanta (Ghana)
    Albanian (Albania)
    Alur (Uganda)
    Amharic (Ethiopia)
    Anal (India)
    Arabic (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Omar)
    Armenian (Armenia)
    Asanti
    Ashanti
    Assamese (India)
    Assyrian
    Ateso (Kenya)
    Ayacucho Quechua (Peru)
    Aymara (Bolivia)
    Azoumeina
    Bambara (Mali)
    Bangala (Zaire)
    Baol Serere (Senegal)
    Baoule (Ivory Coast)
    Batad (Philippines)
    Bariba (Nigeria)
    Biscayan (Spain, France)
    Bashi (Zaire)
    Basque (Spain, France)
    Bassa (Cameroon, Liberia)
    Bassa Kwomu (Nigeria)
    Bassari (Guinea)
    Batonu (Nigeria)
    Bemba (Tanzania)
    Bembe (Tanzania)
    Bengali (Bangladesh, India)
    Benin
    Bhasa Purbi (Nepal)
    Bhojpuri (India)
    Bhili (India)
    Bicol (Philippines)
    Boomu (Mali)
    Bulgarian (Bulgaria)
    Burmese (Burma)
    Caiua (Brazil)
    Cakchiquel (Guatemala)
    Cambodian (Cambodia)
    Cameroon
    Catalan (France)
    Cebuano (Philippines)
    Cesky (Czech Republic)
    Chaldean
    Chaoxian (Korea)
    Chavacano
    Chichewa (Malawi)
    Chin (India)
    Chinese (China)
    Chinyanja (Malawi)
    Chisena (Malawi)
    Chokwe (Namibia)
    Chol (Tumbala)
    Chuave (Papua New Guinea)
    Chumburung (Ghana)
    Chumuru (Ghana)
    Chuukese
    Citak
    Corsican (France)
    Croatian (Croatia)
    Cuna (Colombia)
    Czech (Czech Republic)
    Dagbamba (Ghana)
    Dagbani (Ghana)
    Danish (Denmark)
    Dansk (Denmark)
    Dari (Iran)
    Darlong (Bangladesh)
    Daw (China, Laos)
    Dayak Ngaju (Indonesia)
    Dendi (Benin)
    Ddu Alur (Uganda)
    Dinka
    Ditamari (Benin)
    Dompago (Benin)
    Dutch (Netherlands)
    Ebembe (Tanzania)
    Ebira (Nigeria)
    Edo (Nigeria)
    Efik (Nigeria)
    Ekegusii
    Elimbari (Papua New Guinea)
    Eskimo (Canada, Alaska)
    Estonian (Estonia)
    Etsako (Nigeria)
    Ewe (Togo)
    Fante (Ghana)
    Faroese
    Farsi (Iran, India)
    Feri (Niger)
    Fijian (Fiji)
    Filipino (Philippines)
    Finnish (Finland)
    You don't have to blow out my flame to make yours burn brighter.

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