Mayor invites hopefuls to city to discuss immigration issues – Standard Speaker
Saturday, 15 March 2008
By L.A. TARONE
Mayor Lou Barletta has invited the three serious presidential contenders to visit Hazleton.
But the invitation isn’t merely a polite request that they stop in town. It has a point.
“On behalf of the citizens and elected leaders of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, I respectfully invite you to come to our great city to discuss the issue of illegal immigration in the United States,” the letter opens.
It was faxed and/or e-mailed to the campaign headquarters of Democratic contenders, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Barletta’s letter states that Hazleton “has been on the front line of this issue” and that it has “passed some of the toughest illegal immigration laws in the country.”
Barletta states in his letter to the candidates:
“Hazleton welcomes legal immigrants with open arms,” it further states. “This city and region were built on the backs of hard-working, God-fearing and law-abiding immigrants, however this city has made a stand against illegal immigration and the problems associated with the issue.”
His inclusion of “God fearing” shows he does not understand this country was founded on a freedom of religion, which seems to escape most people these days. As far as “law-abiding”, just as with sins, there is probably not a person alive who hasn’t broken some minor law (and more than likely not been caught – such as with traffic laws). Barletta says his city has taken a “stand” against “illegal” immigration, but it’s truly only taken a “stand” against Hispanics which was painfully apparent as participants in an anti-“illegal” immigration rally told a Hispanic U.S. citizen to “go back home.”