Since former Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta introduced the city’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act in 2006, our battle to enforce the ordinance has met with many challenges along the way, including opponents who have threatened to bankrupt our city. I stood beside Lou as he introduced the ordinance and will continue the fight he began against illegal immigration, just as Barletta will as U.S. Representative for the 11th District of Pennsylvania.
The Illegal Immigration Relief Act would fine anyone who knowingly hires or rents to illegal immigrants. In Hazleton and in other locations around the country, illegal immigration has been detrimental to legal residents’ health, safety and welfare. It has led to higher crime rates and has been a burden on medical systems, school systems and other public services.
The city first proposed this ordinance in 2006 to keep residents safe and to improve the quality of life in Hazleton. Since a judge’s injunction in 2007 has kept us from enforcing the law, we have continued our legal battle.
The United States Supreme Court has ordered the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to vacate its previous decision, which declared Hazleton’s ordinance to be unconstitutional. The appeals court will now have to reconsider the case since its previous decision has been erased. The court’s mandate to rehear the case provides an opportunity for a different decision regarding Hazleton’s illegal immigration ordinance.
Although our legal battle has been long and costly, the taxpayers of Hazleton have not incurred any costs as a result. Through our Small Town Defenders website, donations have poured in from across the country. These donations have come from Americans who are tired of the negative effects of illegal immigration. More than ever, we need your help and ask that you consider becoming a Small Town Defender by making a donation in our fight against illegal immigration.
I’d like to commend Congressman Lou Barletta on his diligence in this important national issue and would also like to thank everyone who has supported our efforts to protect the rights of legal citizens. If you have already contributed to our cause, I encourage you to renew your support for our fight against illegal immigration today.
Mayor Joe Yannuzzi