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05 September 2006 

We're just enforcing the law

America is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of laws.

When it comes to illegal aliens, some cities have looked the other way. Others have openly welcomed them, establishing "sanctuaries," restricting their police departments and other agencies from even asking about a person's immigration status.

This has led to a culture of entitlement among illegal aliens. Many believe they deserve to remain here. And why shouldn't they, when they've received jobs, health care, educational opportunities for their children and a mostly hands-off approach for decades?

The cities that provide safe harbor to illegal aliens are applauded and termed "progressive" for being open and welcoming, their flagrant flaunting of America's immigration laws seemingly excused.

But cities that take steps to curb the drain of illegal immigration - cities such as Hazleton, Riverside, N.J., and Farmers Branch, Texas - are vilified as racist, backward and mean-spirited.

We are taking the steps we need to - steps we are empowered to take under federal and state law - and we will further enhance our Illegal Immigration Relief Act to make it tougher and more defensible.

Hazleton's ordinance would work in conjunction with established local law. It would require all city residents who rent property to obtain an occupancy permit from the city. Landlords would need to see only an official occupancy permit before renting to tenants.

City employees - not ordinary citizens - would use resources available through the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to verify the legal status of those seeking permits.

Businesses would be required to conduct similar checks. This is not a burdensome requirement - several local companies already use an ICE program to verify the immigration status of their employees.

Four months ago, fear gripped Hazleton. Residents - those who grew up here and those who arrived in recent weeks - were afraid to walk down certain streets and patronize local businesses. Illegal aliens who committed murder, fired a gun into a playground and dealt drugs were responsible for many of those fears.

As mayor, I have a duty to protect all legal citizens of my city.

That is exactly what I am doing.

Lou Barletta is the mayor of Hazleton, Pa.

I say way to go sir

“I am on the dirt frontage road to the internet thingy”

Take it slow and keep your head up. That way you can see the bullshit coming.
And don’t waste my time calling me a racist, cause I aren’t. So there!

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