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.