Friday, March 16, 2007

Hazleton Mayor Admits he has no data on immigrants and their impact in his town

I know that this is going to be a major shock to many, but it appears that Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta assumed that illegal immigrants were the cause of problems in his community, but never bothered do get any data to support his position or his ordinances. According to The Allentown Morning Call online, while Mayor Barletta testified yesterday, he basically shot his ordinances in the foot. He testified during the third day of the non-jury trial, which will test the constitutionality of Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act in what is the first federal trial on a municipality's bid to curb illegal immigration.

Mr. Barletta captured the nation's attention with his strong nativist rhetoric, which he repeated on the stand,
Barletta also said he firmly believes illegal immigrants should be flushed out across the country, and that he introduced the ordinance because he is responsible for providing public safety. ''I saw a problem in my city, and I tried to do something about it,'' he said.

Unfortunately, Mr. Barletta has based his anti-immigrant policies on belief rather than fact. He admitted that had no idea how many illegal immigrants live in his city of about 32,000. He also did not rely on any data to conclude they are the root of its problems. So, while Barletta sincerely believes illegal immigration has contributed to overcrowding in schools and hospitals and "destroys the overall quality of life," he has never stopped to look for data that may prove he is sincerely wrong.

During his testimony Barletta admitted he did not contact the school district to ask about alleged overcrowding, nor did he call the hospital for statistics on the treatment of illegal immigrants. Indeed, he did not seek any data to back up any of the claims. Instead, Barletta said he assumed schools were overcrowded because classes were being held in trailers, and he read in the local newspaper that test scores had fallen.

I completely understand your position, Mr. Barletta. Why bother doing any research when just saying something is sooo much easier.

I believe that Hazleton's mayor made a fool of himself yesterday. And guess what? --I have evidence to prove it.


Anonymous said...

What data does he have to produce? If someone is aiding and abetting a criminal they deserve to be punished. Where do we stop when it comes to not enforcing the law or allowing thousands if not millions brake the law. Illegal immigrants are just that "Illegal".

Deb said...

What does he have to prove??? That there is an undocumented problem. Just because there are Latinos living in Hazleton, does not prove anyone is undocumented, nor that they are causing the problems, as he claims.

Anonymous said...

This is not shocking at all. Rather than provide facts, facts tested by impartial third parties, they shoot off their mouths rather than test assumptions.

It is not suprising nor shocking.

Doug BOwer

Anonymous said...

I'll give you data, after the city had its meeting about the rentals and businesses renting out and hiring illegal immigrants and that they would be fined a certain amount of money you wouldn't believe how many homes went up for sale and how many apartment buildings got emptied out here in Hazleton. And I went into a restaurant only to see workers that were there before gone. There is your proof, go up and down Church St.(rt. 309), and other streets in Hazleton and see all the for rent and sale signs, that will be your proof!

Deb said...

Well, now we know for certain that at least one of Hazleton's residents would much rather live in a abandoned, dying town than one with a flourishing economy.

Fine, that's your choice.

Nevertheless, what you say here proves NOTHING about the number of undocumented residents in Hazleton. It suggests that you have effectively harassed Latinos, undocumented or not, to the point that they no longer want to live there, and who can blame them?