Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Santorum staffers give a hand to Hazleton Mayor's website

If you check out the Small Town Defenders website, you'll be greeted by a smiling Mayor Barletta promoting his small town Illegal Immigration Relief Act. As you know, Sen. Santorum is also a supporter of anti-immigrant efforts, but who would suspect that two of his own staffers contributed to getting Mayor Barletta's smiling display of bigotry up on our World Wide Web? According to a July 12 article in The Citizens Voice, published a day before the ordinance passed,
Eric Miller, a member of Santorum's campaign staff, created and registered www.smalltowndefenders.com at the request of Santorum's deputy campaign manager Luke Bernstein, Hazleton solicitor Christopher Slusser confirmed.

The article also reports that Barletta is a regional campaign coordinator for the senator. Good to know things are comfy cozy - for some - up in Hazleton.

Stay tuned, though. The ordinance, which penalizes businesses that "aid and abet" undocumented immigrants by, for example, renting to them or providing them goods and services, is soon to be challenged by the ACLU and a coalition of public interest groups.

Jess in Philly

27 Comments:

Blogger Charles24700 said...

Hazleton got it right!
Go Hazleton! I hope it spreads
thoughout the country.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's how the story is being reported in the mainstream media (this is from KCBS radio in San Francisco):

http://www.kcbs.com/topic/ap_news.php?story=AP/APTV/National/a/a/IllegalImmigrants-Cra_a_a_-----

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello...these are ILLEGAL immigrants! They are here ILLEGALLY. If you are a legal immigrant and can prove it then you should have no worries. And even for legal immigrants...what makes you think it's okay to come to this country and start making demands? You're not citizens...you're GUESTS. I wouldn't go to your country and expect people to bend over backwards for me and speak MY language. I have a brain in my head and I'd know the language before I went there. I don't know how you can base a law suit on ILLEGAL activity. What a shame. Someone finally stands up for what's right and takes on a problem our federal govt. has blatantly ignored and people like you seek to ruin them. I have zero tolerance for illegals. GO MAYOR BARLETTA! Run for President! Here's a man who has a clue. You ACLU people are a bunch of idiots. Do you even know what the word ILLEGAL means????? I'm DISGUSTED to read this nonsense.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Ignore the trolls who are displaying their xenophobia, ethnic prejudice, and ignorance.

And, congratulations filing the suit.

When Hazelton dropped its shoe (pardon for the mixed metaphor) I was confident it was only a matter of time before the ACLU dropped the "other" shoe. Here's hoping that Hazelton will see the light and rescind its action without penalizing the citizens of that good city—who can ill afford the quixotic venture that defending their action would be—will be spared any further costs. On the other hand, there is much to be said for their appealing the near certain district court decision all the way to the Supreme Court: That would make the decision applicable to the entire country, cutting off other misguided adventures in local immigration policy.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am neither ignorant nor prejudice. And expressing my opinion doesn't make me a troll. Do you, Keanus, with your fancy words even know what "troll" means in that context? It is ridiculous that towns face lawsuits from organizations representing ILLEGAL aliens in our country. I think there would many, many other towns following in Hazelton's shoes if they didn't have to worry about financing the fight against the likes of the ACLU.

9:03 AM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

FYI, one of the problems (among many) with this 'Act' is that its definition of 'illegal alien' is not consistent with the federal definition.

But anonymous is certainly right that "there would many, many other towns following in Hazelton's shoes if they didn't have to worry about financing the fight against the likes of the ACLU."

That's why this lawsuit is so important.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, does the ACLU have a legal opinion on what the status or treatment of illegal immigrants should be?

Obviously, what's posted on that website plays into stereotypes and provides misleading and incorrect information in the hopes of getting people worked up and thinking with their emotions and not their heads. While illegal immigrants undoubtedly commit some crimes, it's pretty well documented that they certainly don't account for all of it, or even the majority. You'd never know from the website though.

I'm assuming that everyone agrees the country needs to have some laws about how to immigrate and not just open the doors permanently to let anyone settle down who shows up on our doorsteps.

So, given that there will always be illegal immigrants, where should the line be drawn between what rights and services an illegal immgrant has compared to the rights and services a citizen or legal immigrant has?

If someone is in this country illegally, what should/can we do with them? Do we only deal with them if they are caught and deport them? If they don't get caught, should they be given every right a citizen has, including public assistance?

There's no malice in this question. I'm genuinely curious as to what can/should be done legally, if anything.

10:42 AM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

Thanks for the question, Anonymous who posted at 10:42. I'm working on a response and will post it soon. (I had to check with our lawyers to make sure I get it right.)

Sara in Philly

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have only a few words for the ACLU and those others who joined in to help residents of Hazleton. Thank you, thank you, and, thank you!

I am glad Mr. Barletta is promising to take this to the Supreme Court, so that when ACLU succeeds, and they will, the precedent will be set to curtail further ordinances of this kind.

I do have a question, and any input would be appreciated. How may we best help and give support to residents during the process? Ie., has anyone proposed the idea of bus trips to visit Hazleton, or specific ways to support businesses and folks in need. When I read this morning of the family trying to adopt children, and how this awful xenophobia had hurt them, their business, and the future security of these precious innocent children, my heart just ached. There must be some concrete ways we can help, and any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again ACLU! You all rock!

Anony-newbie

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Anonymous, you’re awfully sensitive to my noting your xenophobia, prejudice and ignorance, but all three were on display. Perhaps, you don’t truly reflect the first two in your private life, but your words clearly reflected the first two when among other things your wrote “I have zero tolerance for illegals.” I should also point out that was the only instance in which you didn’t type the word “illegal” in all caps, the web equivalent of screaming.

And, yes, you fit the definition of a troll when you launch into a comment clearly without having even read the complaint (or understood its many points) filed in district court by the plaintiffs, citizens all. Your comment failed to address a single one of those points, relying entirely on strawmen and name-calling. And, yes, those are characteristics of trolls. If you don’t think you are, then I suggest you withdraw your unwarranted assertions “You ACLU people are a bunch of idiots. Do you even know what the word ILLEGAL means????? I'm DISGUSTED to read this nonsense.” Those comments reveal more about your ignorance than to any knowledge about the ACLU. If you didn’t mean such nonsense, then you owe the ACLU staffers, who don’t merit such abuse, an apology. Leave that stuff to the demagogues like Mayor Barletta.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Hazleton! They've got it right!! Illegal imigants haveno say here! Illegal is ILLEGAL!! ACLU STAY OUT!!!

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the U.S. might protect it's own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely. Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.

Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors; I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard working and honest (except for when I broke into your house)."

According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family's insurance plan and provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do your yard work because he too is hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be there. It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm hard working and honest ... um, except for ... well, you know.

And what a deal it is for me!! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudice and being anti-housebreaker.

Did I miss anything? Does this sound reasonable to you? If it does, grab a sign and go picket something. If this sounds insane to you, call your senators and enlighten them because they are stumbling in the darkness right now and really need your help."

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keanus, just an aside. There are two anonymous(s) here. Yikes, please don't confuse me with whomever spewed such bigotry. I feel as disgusted as you do by it.

Anony-newbie

6:12 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

Anony-newbie -

You asked how you can help in Hazleton. We just found out that there's a solidarity rally to support the immigrants in Hazleton on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 1 pm. We'll post more details as we know them.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I am looking forward to hearing about this, and hopefully can put a group together.

Anony

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you just love the way the ACLU defends illegals?
The ACLU should be investigated under the RICO Act.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES!!!!
HAZLETON, Pa. - The Hazleton City Council formally approved a revamped immigration ordinance Tuesday, reworking the law it passed two months ago to strengthen it against legal challenges.

The revised version passed 4-1, and council members also voted unanimously to make English the official language of the city.

Like the version it replaces, the new immigration ordinance punishes businesses that employ illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them in the city of 31,000 residents about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The biggest change is in the enforcement of the law. The burden of verifying immigration status will now be on the city, giving landlords and businesses time to correct violations before imposing sanctions, and softening penalties.

Under the agreement, Hazleton must give opponents who filed suit against the law at least 20 days' notice before it begins enforcing it — enough time to head back into court to try to stop it. The lawsuit was filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Two peas in a pod: PRLD and ACLU!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a bunch of angry nativists sniffing around the ACLU blog, eh? Can't find any crosses to burn today, gang?

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The poster who makes the analogy between Mexicans here illegally and criminals 'breaking into your house' needs to read some history. How is it that the United States now includes the entire Southwest, kind sir or madam? Do you think the Mexicans gave us that of their free will? No, we stole the land on which we built 'our house' there, at gunpoint. Get a fricking clue, eh?

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crackdown on immigrants empties a town and hardens views:
YES!!!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20061003/ts_csm/aghosttown;_ylt=Ahkhy_GFKiBKpcmh68aifeIDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhZDhxNDFzBHNlYwNtZW5ld3M-

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crackdown on immigrants empties a town and hardens views:
They have the right idea!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20061003/ts_csm/aghosttown;_ylt=
Ahkhy_GFKiBKpcmh68aifeIDW7oF;_
ylu=X3oDMTBhZDhxNDFzBHNlYwNtZ
W5ld3M-

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You robots at the ACLU might have to ask your boss Vincente Fox for a pay increase. Looks like these crackdowns on illegals are increasing!
haha

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stole the land from Mexico.." GET A CLUE!!! You need to study your history. The land was won and PAID for during the Mexican American War, which Mexico lost...
Racists like you who want territory handed back to Mexico show the true colors of the ACLU...

6:21 PM  
Blogger VSK said...

The ACLU is the one that has to go. Join us to fight this scourge. The 910 Group: www.910group.com is with Senator Santorum and the Mayor of Hazleton. We have no hate, anger, or bigotry whatsoever, but only a clear sense of what is right and necessary to lead a positive future, in American and Internationally.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Thunder Pig said...

The Gig is up, ACLU!!!

You can no longer fool people about your oppressive socialist agenda any more, and we are no longer on the defensive mode...we will be going on the offensive to expose you!!!!

6:23 AM  
Blogger KennewickMusing said...

Illegal is illegal is illegal. Why is it so hard for ACLU and liberals to understand this?

We'd be hard pressed to find anyone who was against LEGAL immigration. The gripe is ILlegal immigration. No matter what race, what country the immigrant is from. Period.

Let's give the ACLU a big black eye.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ignore the trolls who are displaying their xenophobia, ethnic prejudice, and ignorance."

So, any who disagree with you are trolls?

Civil liberties are only for those who go along with you and your lack of regard for the rule of law.

Thanks for displaying your true agenda.

~A Different Anonymous

3:44 PM  

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