My last post dealt with the passage of an anti-illegal alien law in Hazleton, PA. I wanted to speak about the law itself, so I posted that entry without commenting on the commentary noted in the news.
First off, most of the stories being posted on the various MSM sites are based on an AP story. What I find interesting is how much variance in the story there actually is. All the pertient facts are there, but the FoxNews.com version I linked to in the last post differs rather glaringly from that shown in this CBS affilliate. The CBS guys elected to pass along all of the comments and quotes in the AP story that make the Mayor of the town look like a heartless bastard and all of the law’s supporters as frothing tyrants.
The part about this story that has me shaking my head in amazement and that confirms my suspicion that English language classes are a must is stuff like this:
Others view the proposal as unnecessary, saying that most illegal immigrants obey the law and only want to work. They point to the success of Wyoming Street, a colorful thoroughfare where dozens of businesses have opened in the past few years.
Jose Lechuga, 42, came to the United States illegally in 1982, received amnesty in 1986 and now operates a grocery store and restaurant in Hazleton. He said the mayor is “confusing illegal people with criminals.”
“[M]ost illegal immigrants obey the law…” Yeah, except that whole part about not entering the country illegally, I guess. So, the 1st act these people engage in upon deciding to come here is to violate our federal laws. And I’m supposed to just believe that they’re law-abiding citizens in light of that? There’s there’s that last crack that the mayor is “confusing illegal people with criminals.”
Uh, excuse me, Jose. “Illegal people” are criminals. That’s what being illegal means, there, bud. It means they broke the law, ergo, they’re criminals. Being here for over 20 years, you’d expect Jose’s English-language comprehension to be better, but then that’s why Hazleton felt the need to include that whole English-language component into their law, one supposes.
Hazleton, PA has enacted an ordinance to, in the words of Mayor Louis Barletta, “make Hazleton one of the most difficult places in the U.S. for illegal immigrants.” The Illegal Immigration Relief Act was passed yesterday by a vote of 4-1 by the Hazleton City Council and covers a number of items intended to fulfill the Mayor’s comments.
- It denies business licenses to business owners who employ illegal aliens. Currently licensed employers would be unable to renew their permits when they come up.
- Landlords who rent to illegal aliens (the Mayor explains that as landlords who rent to people without checking their documentation) may be fined $1000 per illegal staying on their properties.
- It establishes English as the official language in Hazleton, mandating that all government business be conducted in English, written and spoken.
This law is an example for the rest of America to follow and I approve of each and every one of the mandates listed. Those of us who have pushed for real enforcement of our immigrations laws have long said that the businesses who employ these illegals should be feeling the pain of their ill-considered decision. Those businesses who will not conduct themselves in a manner consistent with our immigrations laws shouldn’t be allowed to continue to do business here and Hazleton’s law approaches this from exactly the right angle. Fines and such are just dandy, but attacking the ability of a business to even remain in business is a far better method. After all, the bean counters in a business may conclude that simply paying the fines is less expensive than complying with the law. Those same bean counters cannot possibly brush off the loss of the ability for the business to actually do business. Well done, Hazleton.
Requiring that landlords confirm the documentation of the people coming to rent their places makes it critical that the documentation be authentic. This remains a problem since document forgery is rampant in the illegal alien community. Such forgery will undercut the effectiveness of checking documents. That is no reason, in itself, to forgo checking the docs, anyway. Sure, there will be plenty of forged documents. But why make it unnecessary for the illegals to procure their forgeries by simply not bothering to check. Make them go through the effort and expense of acquiring the forgeries and you increase their risk of being caught at it. This also gets rid of those landlords who make their bucks by marketing directly to the illegals and then overcharge on the rent. Illegals who are getting squeezed are more likely to start committing crimes to get the funds they need so going after those landlords who are happy to deal with illegals attacks 2 problems at the same time.
Making the official language of the town English is a common-sense move that is long, long overdue in America as a whole. In the early days of this nation, the push for immigrants to learn English was a unifying force and had the obvious effect of making sure everyone could understand both each other and the laws of this land. That people come here and refuse to learn English while expecting that everyone else will simply accommodate them is ludicrous both culturally and logistically. Note that the law does not make other languages illegal. It does not stipulate that English must be spoken in a home or be the only language heard on the street. What it does do is mandate that all the forms and written communication of the government, as well as any spoken communication in the conduct of government business, will be in English and English alone. No multiple copies of the same form tranlated into multiple languages. No requirement for multiple translators to be on hand “just in case.” If you come into city hall to renew a license, pay taxes, file a petition, apply for a permit, or anything else in the public province, you’ll do it in English and that’s it.
This law is not racist. No where in the law, nor in any of the supporting documents or arguments, do you see a specific race or country of origin mentioned. The law applies to illegal aliens from Bangkok to Beruit, from Sweden to South America, with no difference in application regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, political persuasion or favorite football team. Anyone even beginning to raise a “racism” complaint is blowing smoke and hoping no one notices their hypocrisy.
The US Congress could do lots, lots worse than passing a law just like this one with added sections for hardening border security and providing better document authentication. They could do worse by doing nothing, which is all I’m seeing lately. Sure would be nice for the nation’s top legislators to take a cue from the City Council of Hazleton, PA.