Walczak will be one of four panelists who will take part in a Community Immigration Forum in Southern Market’s City Council Chambers from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 26.
Immigration on front burner – Intelligencer Journal
But this time, a talk and forum features attorney who KO’d Hazleton ordinance
Published: Mar 16, 2008
By CHIP SMEDLEY, Staff
Witold “Vic” Walczak knows how it feels to be both a scapegoat and a stranger.
The son of a Polish Holocaust survivor, he emigrated to the United States when he was 3. He eventually graduated from Colgate University and Boston College Law School. He joined the American Civil Liberties Union in 1992 and became legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania in 2004.
But in December 2007, he went back to his roots to challenge a Hazleton ordinance penalizing businesses that hired illegal immigrants and landlords who rented to them.
“Yes, it’s a policy issue,” he added, “but we need to take into consideration the blood, sweat and tears of the families who either come or are invited, perhaps tacitly, into this country. We have to take into consideration that this is not just pure politics or economics. These are people.”
During the trial over Hazleton’s ordinance, Walczak said Barletta identified four areas negatively impacted by undocumented immigrants. Testimony included data provided by Hazleton school, police, government and health care officials. The data showed Barletta’s charges were, Walczak said, “demonstrably false.”