Friday, June 22, 2007

Barletta called out by fellow mayors

Oh, snap, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta got punk'd by fellow PA mayors over his immigration boondoggle.
"To suggest that enforcement be done on the local level is ridiculous," York Mayor John Brenner said. "We provide for public safety and we prevent crime, but it is not our job to be the (Immigration and Naturalization Service). To try and do this locally is something that is abhorrent to what we’re about."

There never should have been an attempt to address illegal immigration on a local level, Lancaster Mayor J. Richard Gray said Wednesday during a break in the conference.

"That's a national issue and not a municipal or state level issue," he said. "The issue came up briefly in Lancaster and I felt it was full of politics and full of divisiveness. We have a large Puerto Rican population, including lawyers and businessman and we are for inclusion ... we are a nation of immigrants."

Most immigrants are trying to build better lives and should be supported, Meadville Mayor Richard Friedberg said.

"I don't think (Hazleton's position) is a step in the right direction because most municipalities are trying to build inclusive communities," Friedberg said. "This (Hazleton’s policy) goes against that."...

Titusville Mayor Brian Sanford said Barletta is in a no-win situation.

"That is fighting a problem you can't fight," Sanford said. "We, on the municipal level, cannot enforce that kind of thing and neither can the state. It is a waste of resources."

Other mayors, including Ed Pawlowski of Allentown, Rick Vilello of Lock Haven, Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh and Scranton's Chris Doherty all oppose an anti-illegal immigration bill on the local level.

"I don't agree with Mr. Barletta," Doherty said.

But at least Lou Dobbs agrees with him!

Andy in Harrisburg

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