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  1. #1
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    Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    OT: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    HAZLETON, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Elvis Soto's variety store used to make money. But few customers have been walking through his door lately, and his merchandise -- calling cards, cell phones, car stereos, clothing -- is collecting dust on the shelves.

    With bills mounting, Soto might have to take another job to stay afloat financially, and may even close the store.

    On Wednesday, a tough, first-of-its-kind law targeting illegal immigrants goes into effect in this small hillside city in northeastern Pennsylvania. But the evidence suggests many Hispanics -- illegal or otherwise -- have already left.

    That, in turn, has hobbled the city's Hispanic business district, where some shops have closed and others are struggling to stay open.

    "Before, it 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."

    The ordinance, approved by City Council in September, imposes fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and denies business permits to companies that give them jobs. The law empowers the city to investigate written complaints about a person's immigration status, using a federal database.

    Mayor Lou Barletta, chief proponent of the new law, contends illegal immigrants have brought drugs, crime and gangs, overwhelming police and municipal budgets. He announced the crackdown in June, a month after two illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic were charged in a fatal shooting.

    At Isabel's Gifts, owner Isabel Rubio said business is so bad that she and her husband have put their house up for sale, moved into an apartment above their store and started dipping into their savings.

    "I am in a lot of stress right now," said Rubio, 50, a Colombian who moved to Hazleton 24 years ago. "Every day, we hope to have a good day."

    Opponents sued on Monday to block the law and a companion measure, saying they trample on the federal government's exclusive power to regulate immigration.

    'Sanctioned witch hunt'
    "These ordinances are nothing more than an officially sanctioned witch hunt," said Cesar Perales, president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a group representing plaintiffs in the case. They include the Hazleton Hispanic Business Association, several illegal immigrants, landlords and a restaurateur.

    The mayor said he would fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, saying the ordinance is "as bulletproof as we can get it."

    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, situated 80 miles from Philadelphia, 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.

    Many residents resent the newcomers, complaining about rising crime and overburdened schools. Tensions have flared over relatively minor annoyances such as loud music 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."

    Tenants must buy a $10 rental permit
    A second ordinance going into effect Wednesday 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 can be fined $1,000, plus a penalty of $250 per tenant per day. The goal is to discourage illegal immigrants from even trying to rent in Hazleton.

    A 32-year-old Mexican who slipped into the United States nine years ago to find work said he has no intention of registering.

    "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," said the married father of two, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his immigration status.

    Pennsylvania native Kim Lopez and her husband, Rudy, a Mexican immigrant, closed their grocery store October 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."

    Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.






    Why do people get upset when other people try to inforce the law? What part of "illegal" don't they get? I was fined $150.00 because my plates expired on my truck and I forgot to renew them, I break the law I pay. Why should illegal immigrants be different than me? I was born here, so were my parents, grandparents and great grandparents, even my great, great grandparents were born here and I pay if I break the law. It is not right that people want to change laws to make it legal to be illegal, GO HOME! COME BACK LEGAL OR DON"T COME BACK!

  2. #2
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Some Judge, can't remember his name, put a stay on the City Ordanance(sp?) against illegal aliens in the city, it was suppose to go in to effect tomorrow. I donated to the Hazelton Defense Fund. If we beat this one it will set a prescedent(sp).

    I can spell,..it it comes and goes..

  3. #3
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    What is the rub in getting rid of "ILLEGAL ALIENS"?????
    I think everyone who wants them here, on social services etc., should
    each sponsor a family....no matter how big it is! :p

  4. #4
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    I hate it for the people who are losing business due to this but they made their profits off people breaking the law. I see no problem with this, it is actually enforcing the immigration law and punishing people who enable people to break the immigration laws and discouraging illegals from moving to their town. What's the problem with that, I think it's smart. If more towns were to do this then I could just about gurantee you that illegal immigration would not be a problem in this country. People wouldn't come here illegally if they knew they were going to get caught or couldn't find housing etc. Interesting concept huh?

    And again to the people that are losing money because the hispanics are leaving and not comming in their store, I feel sorry for you but now you know how my mother and brother-in-law feel when they lose their jobs to cheap illegal labor and are forced to find another career that doesn't pay nearly enough just to get run out of that one by employers preferring to hire cheaper illegal labor.

    We didn't make things illegal not to enforce them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Very well said Button.

    And these business who have profited from "cheap" labor have simply profitted
    through it and passed the costs of everything everything else on to legal
    immigrants and American citizens...school, healthcare, crime control etc.
    causing ERs to close, schools to become towers of babble where the teachers
    are told to pass them even if they cant speak English and its not our responsiblity to provide anything to someone here illegally.

  6. #6
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    So, if they stay, we're SCREWED. And if they leave, we're SCREWED. I guess we're just SCREWED. This is just another negative article from the press, because nothing, no matter what it is, can be portrayed as a positive.

    Great points, everyone.
    I'd rather be an Elephant than a Jackass

  7. #7
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeinParadise
    Some Judge, can't remember his name, put a stay on the City Ordanance(sp?) against illegal aliens in the city, it was suppose to go in to effect tomorrow. I donated to the Hazelton Defense Fund. If we beat this one it will set a prescedent(sp).

    I can spell,..it it comes and goes..

    Why would you support letting people break the law?

  8. #8
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Good question.
    I'd rather be an Elephant than a Jackass

  9. #9
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeinParadise
    Some Judge, can't remember his name, put a stay on the City Ordanance(sp?) against illegal aliens in the city, it was suppose to go in to effect tomorrow. I donated to the Hazelton Defense Fund. If we beat this one it will set a prescedent(sp).

    I can spell,..it it comes and goes..
    U.S. District Judge James Munley(Clinton appointee) ruled that landlords,tenants and business that cater to Mexicans face "irreparable harm" from the laws and issued a temporary restraining order. The order expires Nov.14.

    I guess American citizens do not face irreparable harm from illegals lowering the wages, sky rocketing medical costs, lowering the education level, and a myriad of other problems.

  10. #10
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeinParadise
    U.S. District Judge James Munley(Clinton appointee) ruled that landlords,tenants and business that cater to Mexicans face "irreparable harm" from the laws and issued a temporary restraining order. The order expires Nov.14.

    I guess American citizens do not face irreparable harm from illegals lowering the wages, sky rocketing medical costs, lowering the education level, and a myriad of other problems.

    Oh, another thing. I think that rapists suffer irreparable harm form the no rape law.

    A drug addicts suffers irreparable harm from the drug laws.

    I think murders suffer irreparable harm from the homicide law.

    I guess all laws shoud be nulified.

  11. #11
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by Button
    Why would you support letting people break the law?
    Excuse me? I support Hazelton, and donated to their defense fund against the ACLU. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear. :o
    Last edited by DeeinParadise; 11-02-2006 at 04:12 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    This is kind of off the topic of Hazelton but in Beaumont,Tx. illegal aliens are on the city payroll, they claim 12 children, no ss is taken out of their pay AND at the end of the year they get money BACK even if they did not pay in. Now, I ask , HOW IN THE H*LL CAN THEY GET AWAY WITH THAT???????

  13. #13
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeinParadise
    This is kind of off the topic of Hazelton but in Beaumont,Tx. illegal aliens are on the city payroll, they claim 12 children, no ss is taken out of their pay AND at the end of the year they get money BACK even if they did not pay in. Now, I ask , HOW IN THE H*LL CAN THEY GET AWAY WITH THAT???????

    Makes you wonder doesn't it? I have a relative that works at the county jail and he told me that he has orders that they are not allowed to report illegals to immigration when they come across them and he says they come across them alot. At the WIC office they have a sign that says if you are illegal they will not report you to immigration. It pisses me off to sit at the grocery line forever while someone who doesn't speak english gets free milk, bread, eggs, cheese and baby formula while I'm having to bid on formula coupons on ebay so I can afford my baby's formula. When you got to the medicaid office or any kind of social services, you ought to have to prove your citizenship (especially if you don't speak english). It's bad enought when people knowingly hire illegals, and you see your relatives lose their jobs to illegals, but to know that they are actually living off our system getting free benefits really shows that our country is in a mess.

  14. #14
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by Button
    Makes you wonder doesn't it? I have a relative that works at the county jail and he told me that he has orders that they are not allowed to report illegals to immigration when they come across them and he says they come across them alot. At the WIC office they have a sign that says if you are illegal they will not report you to immigration. It pisses me off to sit at the grocery line forever while someone who doesn't speak english gets free milk, bread, eggs, cheese and baby formula while I'm having to bid on formula coupons on ebay so I can afford my baby's formula. When you got to the medicaid office or any kind of social services, you ought to have to prove your citizenship (especially if you don't speak english). It's bad enought when people knowingly hire illegals, and you see your relatives lose their jobs to illegals, but to know that they are actually living off our system getting free benefits really shows that our country is in a mess.
    It most certainly is in a mess. And the kids of illegals are not required to have appropriate immunizations before entering school as are American kids.
    The untreatable form of TB is coming from the south and spreading at an
    alarming rate. We are being forced to provide for them while businesses
    raise their bottom line at our expence.
    Phil Valentine is absolutely right. Hes been preaching demagnetizing
    TN for months. Hes right. No jobs, no services, no illegals. We wouldnt
    need a fence if jobs and services were removed from the table. Oh, and
    stop the anchor baby machine!!
    :mad:

  15. #15
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeinParadise
    Oh, another thing. I think that rapists suffer irreparable harm form the no rape law.

    A drug addicts suffers irreparable harm from the drug laws.

    I think murders suffer irreparable harm from the homicide law.

    I guess all laws shoud be nulified.
    Oh, is that ever right on the money!!! We are being invaded. This is not
    immigration. When illegals can take to the streets demanding that our laws
    not be enforced, when the intent to claim land has been made, when there
    is a movement on to change our language and culture all the while draining
    rescources......this is an INVASION from a foreign country.

    This is my biggest rub with Bush. He has committed treason by refusing to
    protect this country from foreign invasion. And.....the No. American Union
    that we are being set up for will destroy our sovereignty and our way of
    life. People had better wake up and smell the coffee. We are being
    sacrificed as the clock ticks away.

  16. #16
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    Re: Crackdown on illegals takes toll in Pennsylvania town

    Quote Originally Posted by goodwitchofthesouth
    Oh, is that ever right on the money!!! We are being invaded. This is not
    immigration. When illegals can take to the streets demanding that our laws
    not be enforced, when the intent to claim land has been made, when there
    is a movement on to change our language and culture all the while draining
    rescources......this is an INVASION from a foreign country.

    This is my biggest rub with Bush. He has committed treason by refusing to
    protect this country from foreign invasion. And.....the No. American Union
    that we are being set up for will destroy our sovereignty and our way of
    life. People had better wake up and smell the coffee. We are being
    sacrificed as the clock ticks away.
    That's the truth. Did ya'll know that he just bought 98,850 acres in Paraguay? AND that Jenna just returned from a 10day visit from there, without any entourage or anything, very secret. I wonder what is going on there???? I think Bush should be impeached. He has sold the USA down the gutter.

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