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Posted: 10/30/2006 2:39:48 PM EST
Gee, it seems that local laws might be an effective deterrent to CRIMINALS invading our country with the express permission of our federal government

Hispanics Flee Hazleton In Advance Of Nearing Crackdown
www.nbc10.com/news/10185608/detail.html
HAZLETON, Pa. -- Elvis Soto's variety store on Wyoming Street used to make money. But few customers have been walking through his door of late, and his merchandise -- calling cards, cell phones, car stereos, and clothing -- is collecting dust on the shelves.

With bills mounting, Soto might have to take another job to stay afloat financially, and maybe even shutter his store.

This small hillside city in northeastern Pennsylvania has yet to enforce a tough, first-of-its-kind law targeting illegal immigrants, but evidence suggests that many Hispanics -- illegal or otherwise -- have already left. That has hobbled the city's Hispanic business district, where shops that flourished only six months ago have either closed or are struggling to stay open.


"Before, (Hazleton) was a nice place," said Soto, 27, who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic a decade ago. "Now, we have a war against us. I am legal but I feel the pressure also."

At Isabel's Gifts, business is so bad that owner Isabel Rubio and her husband have put their house up for sale and moved into the apartment above the store because they can no longer afford the mortgage.

"We've dipped into our savings and that's no good," said Rubio, 50, a Colombian who moved to Hazleton 24 years ago. "I am in a lot of stress right now. Every day, we hope to have a good day."

Mayor Lou Barletta, who spearheaded the law, contends illegal immigrants have brought drugs, crime and gangs to the city, overwhelming police and municipal budgets. He announced the crackdown in June, a month after two illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic were charged with shooting and killing a 29-year-old man.

The ordinance, approved by City Council last month and scheduled to take effect Wednesday, imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that give them jobs. The law empowers the city's Code Enforcement Office to investigate written complaints about a person's immigration status, using a database operated by the federal government.

Opponents have vowed a legal battle to overturn the law, calling it divisive, unnecessary and illegal. They say the city should focus instead on preventing crime and catching lawbreakers.

But Barletta said he is convinced the courts will uphold it. "We're going to fight tooth and nail to be able to enforce the ordinance. It is as bulletproof as we can get it," he said.

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.

Hispanics began settling in large numbers in Hazleton several years ago, lured from New York, Philadelphia and other cities by cheap housing, low crime and the availability of work in nearby factories and farms. The city estimates its population has increased from 23,000 to 31,000 over the past six years, with Hispanics now representing 30 percent of the population.

No one knows how many of the new arrivals came to the United States illegally, but assimilating such a large number of people, many of whom speak little English, in such a short amount of time has been difficult.

Support for the mayor among white residents appears to be broad. Many resent the newcomers, complaining about rising crime and overburdened schools. Tensions have flared over relatively minor annoyances such as loud music, ignored traffic laws and double parking.

"You don't like the big-city stuff coming here," said insurance agent Vincent Santopoli, 49, a lifelong resident. "We're not used to it."

Barletta, who has risen from political obscurity to become a darling of anti-illegal immigration activists nationwide, said he sympathizes with struggling Hispanic business owners. But he said the fact their revenues are down is proof the city had a problem with illegal immigration.

"I've said from the beginning my goal was to make Hazleton one of the toughest cities in America for illegal aliens," he said. "Today, if I was an illegal alien, I certainly wouldn't pick Hazleton as my home."

Crime statistics for the last few months are not yet available, but Chief Bob Ferdinand said he has heard from his officers that they are not responding to as many calls. "Things appear to be quieter and appear to have calmed down somewhat," he said.

Somewhat, but not entirely.

On Oct. 20, police say, a legal immigrant from the Dominican Republic shot and killed two Hispanic men, one of whom was in the country illegally, at an intersection on the city's northwest side. The suspect, Miguel A. Abreu, told reporters at his arraignment: "Now I am at peace; I took my enemy down."

Todd Betterly, 37, who was awakened by the gunshots, said the slayings are proof that Barletta's efforts are necessary.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to find out who belongs here and who doesn't," he said. "If we could have stopped one murder by knowing where these people are, isn't it worth it?"

Betterly was referring to a second ordinance, also going into effect Wednesday, that requires tenants to register their name, address and phone number at City Hall and pay $10 for a rental permit. Landlords who fail to make sure their tenants are registered will face a $1,000 fine, as well as a levy of $250 per tenant, per day. The goal is to discourage illegal immigrants from even trying to rent in Hazleton.

One illegal immigrant who has remained in the city said he is worried his landlord will boot him out. The immigrant, a 32-year-old Mexican who slipped into the United States nine years ago to find work, said he has no intention of registering his name.

"I'm angry, because I think the mayor doesn't have any feelings," said the married father of two, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his immigration status. "What is the mayor gaining by this law? I'm not a drug trafficker; I don't run around in gangs. I do my job and I go home to my family."
(Yeah, who the hell cares if I'm here ILLEGALLY?????? I sure don't, I'm a CRIMINAL!!!!!!)

Rudy Espinal, head of the Hazleton Hispanic Business Association, acknowledged many Hispanics have left the city in recent months, but said it could be that legal immigrants now view Hazleton as unwelcoming and have decided to go elsewhere.

Pennsylvania native Kim Lopez agrees. Lopez and her husband, Rudy, a Mexican immigrant, closed their grocery store on Oct. 1 after business tailed off dramatically over the summer. They lost more than $10,000 -- their life savings.

"Everyone was running scared and left town," said Lopez, 39. "We had customers who came in who were legal citizens and they didn't want the harassment and hassle and told us they were leaving."

The Lopezes had lived frugally for five years so they could save enough money to open the Lopez Mexican Store. But their timing was off: They opened in May, just weeks before the exodus began.

"We went without a lot to open this store," Kim Lopez said. "That was our dream and within a few months it was gone, everything."
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:42:15 PM EST
See sig line...

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:43:58 PM EST
Any chance of adoption throught the states?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:45:09 PM EST
Buh Bye, SCUM!!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:47:50 PM EST
Hooray! Now they just need that in the rest of Luzerne Co. and then the state, then the country.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:52:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By Spade:
Hooray! Now they just need that in the rest of Luzerne Co. and then the state, then the country.


I CONCUR!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:54:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Spade:
Hooray! Now they just need that in the rest of Luzerne Co. and then the state, then the country.

Can we skip 1&2 and go directly to 3?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:58:45 PM EST
Am I suposed to feel bad or something?

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:59:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By 22bad:
"Everyone was running scared and left town," said Lopez, 39. "We had customers who came in who were legal citizens and they didn't want the harassment and hassle and told us they were leaving."


Bullshit. "Yeah, I'm legal here, but I'm gonna move anyway." My ass. If you can pick up and leave that easy, then I question your ties to the community. Not only that, but you're suppose to have documents that prove you're legal. Like birth certificates, naturalization certificates, or green cards.

Gawd, when will the freaking pity party end.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:59:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:00:30 PM EST
Georgia is gearing up. Our new "get tough with illegals" law was signed by the govonor, takes effect next July 1.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:07:39 PM EST
Too bad...so sad...

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:09:37 PM EST
Boo fuqqing Hoo...(world's smallest violin starts to play for my bleeding heart)

How many Gestapo were put out of work when they closed the ovens at Dachau?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:10:32 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:13:16 PM EST


Opponents have vowed a legal battle to overturn the law, calling it divisive, unnecessary and illegal. They say the city should focus instead on preventing crime and catching lawbreakers.


Ummm, you mean like people who entered this country illegally? Those lawbreakers?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:14:51 PM EST
I feel so sorry for those business people that saved up money to make money off of illegal aliens. Awe poor pitiful people. But then again, that's what you get when you plan to make money off of criminals.

I'm sick of these damn news articles trying to make these illegals and the people that make money off of them good.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:16:21 PM EST
Well, people that illegally enter our country, the easy ride might be over soon.

I don't have much sympathy for a business that depends on illegals.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:17:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:
Georgia is gearing up. Our new "get tough with illegals" law was signed by the govonor, takes effect next July 1.


I swear I could kill Georgia's illegal problem by just pulling over all the damn vans going 30 in the left lane with 15 people crammed inside on hwy 75. Pull them over for not wearing seatbelts and deport their ass.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:18:23 PM EST

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.


You have got to be kidding me! How is it discriminatory? BEcause it discriminates criminals from law abiding citizens? Come on!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:23:04 PM EST
boo fucking hoo. Cry me a goddamned river.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:29:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 3:29:38 PM EST by Spade]

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.


You have got to be kidding me! How is it discriminatory? BEcause it discriminates criminals from law abiding citizens? Come on!


It was a good thing.

The ACLU/Activist lawsuit helpfully showed Hazleton where the law could be shot down.
So Hazleton went back and changed the law to make it harder to overturn!
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 3:57:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.


You have got to be kidding me! How is it discriminatory? BEcause it discriminates criminals from law abiding citizens? Come on!


It discriminates against criminals. Not all discrimination is bad. Every morning I discriminate against tea by drinking coffee, so sue me.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:31:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By fosters:
Any chance of adoption throught the states?


Looks like an uphill battle
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:32:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By pv74:
Too bad...so sad...


Too too bad
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:35:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.


You have got to be kidding me! How is it discriminatory? BEcause it discriminates criminals from law abiding citizens? Come on!


Another instance of the aclu being against America's best interests, they MUST be doing it on purpose

I cannot get over them saying that the Florida woman wearing a burka was sufficient for her state ID
What BS, you could only see her eyes, they must be on drugs, or stupid, or both, I vote both
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:37:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By Spade:

Originally Posted By Steve_T_M:

An earlier version of the ordinance was scrapped by City Council after the ACLU and Hispanic activists sued, claiming it was discriminatory and that immigration is a federal matter.


You have got to be kidding me! How is it discriminatory? BEcause it discriminates criminals from law abiding citizens? Come on!


It was a good thing.

The ACLU/Activist lawsuit helpfully showed Hazleton where the law could be shot down.
So Hazleton went back and changed the law to make it harder to overturn!


IIRC prop 200 in CA failed to stand up to the court challenges
prop 187 in AZ learned from their mistakes and survived the court challenges
unfortunately the governor made sure all the state workers knew they could disobey the law with NO concequences
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:40:13 PM EST
sayonara, or adios
whatever......

Bye!

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:44:27 PM EST
Here comes the aclu right on schedule fighting for the "rights" of criminals with NO valid, legal reason for their complaint

Pa. town's immigration law challenged
10/30/2006
MICHAEL RUBINKAM
The Associated Press
www.nola.com/newsflash/topstories/index.ssf?/base/national-74/116225964919040.xml&storylist=topstories
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Advocates for immigrants sued the city of Hazleton on Monday, seeking to block an ordinance that would impose steep fines on landlords who rent to people living in the country illegally.

In its lawsuit filed in federal court in Scranton, the American Civil Liberties Union said the ordinance and a companion measure set to take effect Wednesday violate the Constitution because they trample on the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

The laws would impose heavy fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, deny business permits to companies that employ them, and require renters to register and purchase a renter's permit at City Hall.

The plaintiffs — which also include the Hazleton Hispanic Business Association, several illegal immigrants facing eviction, landlords, and a businessman — said they would also seek a federal injunction blocking the laws.

"Immigration reform is an important issue, but if every little town like Hazleton across the 50 states makes up their own rules about immigration, we're going to be left with an even bigger mess," said Witold J. Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

Mayor Lou Barletta, who has argued that illegal immigrants have brought an increase in drugs, crime and gangs to the town, disagreed, saying the laws did not regulate immigration, but instead targeted those doing business with illegal immigrants.

Hazleton's ordinance, which was announced in June, has spurred other towns to pass similar laws. The lawsuit and a similar one brought by the ACLU in Riverside, N.J., are being viewed as test cases, as local officials, frustrated at what they perceive as the federal government's inability to stem illegal immigration, take matters into their own hands.

Barletta said that he is convinced the courts will uphold the law and that the city has assembled a legal team to defend it.

"It's unfortunate that these special interest groups would choose to file a lawsuit against a small city that is struggling to protect itself," Barletta said Monday night. "Hazleton is prepared to fight, and we will take this challenge to the highest court in the United States if that's what it takes to protect our legal citizens and quality of life."

The law empowers the city's Code Enforcement Office to investigate written complaints about a person's immigration status, using a federal government database.

The companion ordinance requires tenants to register their name, address and phone number at City Hall and pay $10 for a rental permit. Landlords who fail to make sure their tenants are registered will face a $1,000 fine, as well as a levy of $250 per tenant, per day. The goal is to discourage illegal immigrants from trying to rent in Hazleton.

Hazleton, a city of 31,000, is about 80 miles from Philadelphia.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 6:46:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By 22bad:
"Immigration reform is an important issue, but if every little town like Hazleton across the 50 states makes up their own rules about immigration, we're going to be left with an even bigger mess," said Witold J. Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.


Bigger mess than slavers, gangs and military backed drug dealers having open acess to our country???????
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