Thunderpig’s Mirror

Archive for January 2nd, 2007

Red Alert: It’s David and Goliath Time in Hazeltown, Pennsylvania

Posted by Thunder Pig on January 2, 2007

Click on the post title for more information.

Red Alert

Working Hard to Keep America Safe & Free from the ACLU

Dear Friends & Supporters:

We had not planned to sent out any alerts and newsletters until after the 1st of the year, however, a certain issue has been in the spotlight that I feel warrants our prompt attention and action now.

We are aware that everyone who comes to the Stop the ACLU web site and joins our mailing list may not disagree with the ACLU on every single issue. While I believe most of us reject all the ACLU’s positions on abortion, same sex marriage, sex ed, Gay/Straight Alliances, prayer in schools and city council meetings, public displays of the 10 Commandments and religious symbols, radical Islam, the UN and matters of national security and terrorism, we know there are some who do not take issue with them on every single item. We understand and respect that.

However, I believe I speak for virtually everyone in the Stop the ACLU database when I say that the most serious issue of our day is the matter of border security and deportation of illegal aliens. And as such, we need each of you reading this alert to take action and do your part to stop the ACLU.

As many of you know, a few cities across America have enacted ordinances to curb illegal immigrants from employment and residency in their communities. Examples of those include Escondido, California; Valley Park, Missouri; Riverside, New Jersey, and Farmers Branch, Texas.

These communities have all been sued by the ACLU and have either backed off enforcement of their ordinances or are seriously considering doing so. Other communities like Carpentersville in my home state of Illinois have wanted to do so but were thwarted by radicals opposing public officials in these towns, led by ACLU threats of litigation.

However, one community is not succumbing to ACLU suits but instead digging their heels in to fight them, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. And that is the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, led by Mayor Lou Barletta.

This past Tuesday night on CNN, Christine Romans, substitute host for Lou Dobbs, had Mayor Barletta on the show. The transcript can be accessed here for those who would like to do so. But in the interest of time, I have copied and pasted the interview below.

(Note that there is a small section earlier in the web page that details what lawmakers and the president plan to do in the 107th Congress with regards to the illegal aliens currently here.)

ROMANS: It’s one small city in America and it’s at the forefront of the battle against illegal immigration. Hazleton, Pennsylvania has become a model for other communities trying to stem illegal immigration within their own city limits. But Hazleton now faces expensive legal challenges for those efforts. The mayor of Hazleton though says he won’t back down and he joins me now. Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, welcome back to the program.


ROMANS: Now Escondido yielded in California to the pressure that it was getting from groups who said you can’t do this. And in fact, turned around and even paid the people that were suing it. Are you daunted at all by that?

BARLETTA: No, I’m not. You know, I’m sorry to hear what happened in Escondido, however we do things a little differently in Hazleton. We put together one of the finest legal defense teams in the country. Some of it is pro bono, some of it at discounted rates. Our insurance carrier is also covering us as well as we started a defense fund, where people from all over America are helping us defend ourselves.

ROMANS: Mayor, one attorney with the national ACLU had this to say about the Escondido move and how it relates to Hazleton and other towns. Quote, “Other cities that have similar legislation should heed the lesson of this case. These ordinances will not withstand challenge, and must be repealed.”

You’ve had — you have suffered some legal setbacks in the course of this legislation. Are you concerned?

BARLETTA: Well, we have. The plaintiffs who are suing us, the judge has ordered that their identities will be kept confidential from even us.

ROMANS: So you’re being sued by people who are not being identified?

BARLETTA: Absolutely. We don’t know who these people are, where they live, where they work. They could be invisible for all we know. Unfortunately, we will heed that challenge and continue on. We’re not going to back down and we’ll fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.

ROMANS: Now the ACLU declined our request or our invitation to appear on the program with you tonight. But we did get several statements. And I’ve spoken to Vic Walczak who is the person for the ACLU in Pennsylvania who has been on this case.

“The mayor was unable to give statistics to support claims of problems illegal aliens have caused to Hazleton. There was no evidence to support any of his claims. He gave no details of actual problems illegal aliens are causing in Hazleton.”

He says that he deposed you for some seven hours in the course of this litigation and in fact he couldn’t come back with any kind of clear, concise data about just what harm illegal immigration is doing to your town. How do you respond to that?

BARLETTA: That’s quite amusing. Apparently he forgot the illegal alien that shot two people on a busy street with hundreds of teenage high-schoolers standing nearby, killing one. Apparently he forgot about the 29-year-old that was shot between the eyes by two illegal aliens costing the city thousands of dollars. Apparently he forgot about the 14-year-old illegal alien who was shooting a gun on a playground. Or the drug dealers, over half last year, who were illegal aliens. And apparently he forgot the statistic that over half of our entire budget for overtime in the police department was spent on one homicide committed by illegal aliens.

If he wanted more statistics, I gave them to him. The school district, for example, English as a second language. In the year 2000, the budget was $500. Last year, that budget now is $1,145,000. So he may have to refresh himself on the notes from that deposition.

ROMANS: Let me ask you. So often people like the ACLU and some of the open borders lobby, they say this is war on immigration and on immigrants. You have told me before that that is simply not the case, that this is something to preserve a town for legal immigrants and for citizens. Explain that a little bit.

BARLETTA: That’s correct. We are not rolling out the welcome mat for legal immigrants. However illegal aliens are destroying the quality of life and we simply cannot absorb the cost in our small budget where we cannot — we can no longer provide the level of public service to the legal, hard working taxpayers of our community. This does not mean that we don’t welcome legal citizens. Illegal is illegal and it shouldn’t go any further than that.

ROMANS: So how far now does this legal battle go?

BARLETTA: Well this battle right now is in federal court here in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From there, it will most likely go to the third circuit court in Philadelphia. And I believe it will finally end up in the Supreme Court. We are one small city with limited resources, but we have a big heart who won’t back down from this fight.

ROMANS: Let me ask you, is there a way mayor to write this legislation to make everyone happy? Is there a way to still preserve what you’re trying to do, and that is to stem illegal immigration within your city limits, but at the same time satisfy the folks who say this is some kind of racism?

BARLETTA: No, there’s no race in illegal. Illegal is illegal and we have. The ordinance that is before counsel and before the judge right now, we feel, does not regulate immigration in any way. We punish businesses that hire unlawful workers and landlords that harbor illegal aliens.

As far as the illegal immigrants, we leave that up to the federal government. Nobody in the city of Hazleton will be determining anyone’s immigration status. And I believe we have found a way to defend ourselves and we’re willing to fight to prove that.

ROMANS: Is there a point, Mayor, where this becomes too costly, where you have to throw in the towel?

BARLETTA: Well there are 25 lawyers on the other side suing us and the ACLU has a lot of money, and we are one small city. We’ve set up a legal defense fund, city of Hazleton legal defense fund and anyone in America and they have already that wants to help us fight, can do so through this Web site. The Escondidos in this country, as well as Farmers Branch and many other cities, this fight, the battleground is really in Hazleton, Pennsylvania right now.

ROMANS: That’s true. I spoke with somebody from the ACLU several months ago actually who said that Hazleton is our Alamo, meaning they were really going to focus on this case and hope that it would deter other communities from doing the same that you are.

BARLETTA: Well, I could tell them that this is one mayor that will never stop fighting for the people in my community.

ROMANS: Mayor Lou Barletta, thank you so much for joining us.

BARLETTA: Thank you.

After reading the transcript, many of you are likely outraged that the ACLU will not disclose the names of the plaintiffs they are claiming to represent and that the organization is denying the criminal activity occurring in Hazleton.

As noted in the article, Mayor Barletta set up a web site called Small Town Defenders to receive donations to fight the ACLU’s lawsuit. To his great courage, Mr. Barletta has said he will not bow to the ACLU in any way, shape or form. And we need to help as much as we can.

This issue is critical because whoever wins will set the stage for either uncontrolled immigration or major reform and isolation of ACLU lawsuits. If the ACLU wins, few municipalities, if any, will introduce immigration reform ordinances, knowing they will likely be struck down, resulting in thousands of taxpayers dollars awarded to the ACLU.

If Hazleton wins, it will mean that cities concerned about illegal aliens will be able to craft and model legislation after the Hazleton ordinance and as such, will likely stand up to court scrutiny.

This one is for all the marbles. As such, we need everyone’s participation.

Take Action Now!

While we here at the Coalition are definitely in need of serious financial infusions to sustain and expand our operations and hope you will consider us at this time, the city of Hazleton needs us as well, if not more so.

We fully understand the bills many of you have incurred as a result of Christmas shopping and we also realize that your house of worship, for those of you who attend church, needs your support first. However, after doing so, would you be willing to donate to Hazleton’s legal defense fund and help them defeat the ACLU?

The town’s web page is a secure site whereby you can contribute online. Or if you wish to mail a check or money order, you can do so by sending it to:

City of Hazleton Legal Defense Fund
C/O Mayor Lou Barletta

City Hall

40 N. Church St.

Hazleton, PA 18201.

We especially ask that as many Pennsylvanians as possible help this town fight the ACLU.

It doesn’t matter whether you can give $5 or $50 or $500. If as many as possible in the Coalition’s database can step up to the plate and simply do a little, we could greatly expand the town of Hazleton’s current financial resources.

We know some folks cannot contribute anything and we fully understand. However, we would that each of you, as well as those of you planning to donate to Hazleton’s legal fund, sign the city’s petition of support and share your personal comments to Mayor Barletta by clicking here.

Also, if there is someone living within an hour radius of Hazleton who would like to be our liaison to the community, please contact me for more information. We will be in touch with the mayor, hopefully within the next few days.

Thank you, everyone, for your assistance in this matter. For those of you who are prayer warriors, pray that this ACLU suit will go down in flames and that Hazleton will have a big victory.

In closing, we want to remind you that with the support of the ACLU, the new Congress and President Bush plan to push the comprehensive immigration bill granting amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens currently here and cause nightmares right and left. We ask you to join as many immigration control groups as possible to force Washington to hear us. Some recommendations I can give are FAIR U.S., NUMBERS USA, U.S.Border Control, ALIPAC, Alamo Alliance and the Minuteman Project.

This bill may be introduced early next month so be informed and be prepared to blitz your senators and congressmen with communications. We will also endeavor to provide this information to you as well, both in an e-mail alert and on our web site.

Bottom line, I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is that Hazleton defeats the ACLU and that we force Congress to abandon any legislation granting amnesty and citizenship to illegals. Please do your part and encourage those in your address book to do theirs as well. I believe this is the defining issue of our time.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and Happy New Year to all.
Warmest Regards,
Nedd Kareiva,

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