Monday, June 19, 2006

Need a scapegoat, grab an immigrant

Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton has introduced an ordinance that would fine businesses that "aid and abet" undocumented immigrants, make english the official language of the city, and keep undocumented immigrants from renting property.

Truly sick stuff but here's my favorite part of the discussion, as reported by the Citizen's Voice:
The mayor and many residents point to high-profile crimes as reason to crack down on illegal immigrants.

In the last few months, a man was gunned down, a 14-year-old fired a gun at a park and there was a large drug bust. All these crimes were committed by illegal immigrants, Barletta said.

"We never had this before they came here," he said. "This is a family town with conservative values. I am dealing with elderly people who are afraid to leave their homes."
Non-Hispanics were responsible for 79 percent of the city's crime in 2005, according to data from the Pennsylvania Unified Crime reports.
Immigrants, in general, are much less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, a 2006 study of U.S. prison populations by a group from the University of California shows. The study found that immigrants actually have the lowest rates of imprisonment for criminal convictions.

Now, I know what you're thinking: 'Andy, reason doesn't work with these people.' Unfortunately, that's true, but if the community is educated on these issues, eventually ignorance slinks away, back to the cave from which it came. We just have to keep pushing forward.

Andy in the HBG


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