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Your contribution will help us win this fight! Send a check or money order to:
City of Hazleton Legal Defense Fund, c/o Mayor Joe Yannuzzi
City Hall, 40 N. Church St., Hazleton, PA 18201

Dear friend,

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

Crowd of 3,000 delays talks on 'illegals' (Kane County, Ill., Chronicle)

CARPENTERSVILLE – About 3,000 Latino protesters descended upon the Carpentersville Village Board meeting Tuesday night to voice their indignation with a proposed ordinance that would crack down on "illegal aliens" in the village.

The national debate over illegal immigration played out locally on the lawn in front of Village Hall, as the throng of Latinos chanted, "USA, USA," while a handful of residents shouted back, "Speak English."

The crowd was so large that village leaders decided to postpone the discussion about the controversial proposal, which would fine any business or landlord who does business with illegal immigrants. The Village Board room holds about 200 people; the village intends to find a venue large enough to hold anyone wishing to participate.

"We're prepared tonight, and we'll be prepared next time," a woman in the crowd called out as the trustees voted to postpone the meeting.

Outside, police in riot gear holding barking dogs stood on the crowd's perimeter, as news of the postponement made its way through the crowd of people, some holding aloft signs saying, "We're Part of this Country" and "We are Carpentersville."

"I'm here because I've lived here for 25 years, and this is the first time I've felt so unwelcome," Felipe Escalante said. "We support this town, we go to the restaurants, we're workers here. Now I feel uncomfortable. But I felt chills when I saw how many people were here."

This town of 37,000 in northern Kane County is 40 percent Hispanic. Tensions over immigrants living here motivated two trustees to propose the ordinance, making Carpentersville the first town in the Chicago area to join a handful of others nationwide attempting to limit immigration locally.

"[Illegal immigration] is becoming a problem here, and it's only getting worse," trustee Paul Humpfer said. "We see it in overcrowded homes, overcrowded schools and an increase in crime."

The draft, almost identical to one passed in Hazleton, Pa., would fine businesses and put their licenses at risk if they do business with illegal immigrants. It also would make English the official language of Carpentersville. The Hazleton ordinance isn't being enforced after several groups, including the ACLU, fought it in court.

Don Lee, a Lake in the Hills resident who used to live in the village, said he attended because he wanted to show his support for the ordinance.

"These are perfectly reasonable rules, it's ridiculous to make this big of deal over this," he said. "We need to make it less comfortable for illegals to come here so they stop coming."

Kristin Kumpf, of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said the organization intended to fight the ordinance, saying it "smears all undocumented immigrants as criminals, nuisances, and burdens to society."

"They are the base of the economy here," she said. "Without them, the economy here would collapse."

Bill Sarto, village president, fears that scenario. He opposes the ordinance, calling it "divisive" and "counter-productive."

The local government doesn't have the power to enforce national immigration laws, he said.

Requiring businesses to check whether a customer is in the U.S. legally only will lead to profiling of all Hispanics, he said.

"This isn't healthy for our community," he said. "Our Hispanic residents feel very hurt by this. They feel like this is being pushed by people who just don't want Hispanics as neighbors."

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