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Thread: Congressman advises Trump to keep up hard line on immigration

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Congressman advises Trump to keep up hard line on immigration

    By Kery Murakami CNHI Washington Reporter 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON – Republican leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan may be distancing themselves from Donald Trump’s controversial stances on immigration, including a ban on Muslims. But a Pennsylvania Republican who has advised Trump on immigration policy is telling the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee not to soften his tone.

    Rep. Lou Barletta wrote in a policy paper for Trump’s campaign that he shouldn’t worry that hot-button proposals, such as building a wall along the Mexican border, will hurt him in the election, even among Latino voters.

    In an interview, Barletta held up his own experience as mayor of Hazleton, Luzerne County, as a case study.

    A decade ago, in the city of about 25,000 people south of Wilkes-Barre, Barletta was in a similar position as Trump – embroiled in controversy for pushing some of the toughest immigration policies of any city in the country.

    Barletta moved to deny permits to businesses that hired workers illegally living in the United States, and to fine landlords who knowingly rented to them. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the policies.

    Rather than being hurt by controversy, Barletta noted he was re-elected mayor with more than 89 percent of the vote in 2007 – the year after he floated the immigration proposal. This in a city where about half of the voters are Latino, he said.

    Elected to Congress in 2010, Barletta carried Hazleton in his 2014 re-election.

    Asked about concerns from some Republican leaders that Trump will drive Latinos from the party, Barletta said, “I’m living proof that’s not so.”

    “People care about good education, good jobs, a good quality of life,” he said. “That’s insulting (to Hispanics) that people would say they care about somebody climbing over a fence instead of what’s best for their family.”

    National polls tell a different story.

    A Fox News Latino poll on May 20 found Trump trailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 62 percent to 23 percent.

    That Barletta would urge Trump not to back away from his immigration stances doesn’t surprise Vic Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania and a lead attorney in the group’s successful challenge of Hazleton’s laws.

    “What the mayor did was plain scapegoating,” Walczak said. “He blamed illegal immigrants for every problem under the sun.”

    Barletta was among a number of people who endorsed Trump and were then asked by the campaign to submit policy papers on their top issue, Jon Anzur, Barletta’s campaign manager, said in an email.

    “We think a lot of things in common,” Barletta said of Trump. “I was the first mayor in the country to take on this issue, and I stood out there by myself.”

    Barletta in the interview acknowledged that Trump “has a way of being out there,” as well.

    But Trump’s remarks are stirring discussion about immigration, he said, after years of government inaction.

    Barletta said the country needs to “separate the sugar from the salt” in deciding which immigrants it allows to come here.

    Until the government can guarantee that no one it allows to move here is a potential terrorist, Barletta said he agrees with Trump’s proposed suspension of Muslim immigration.

    Trump reiterated the stance after Omar Mateen, whose parents are immigrants, was said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS during his shooting rampage at an Orlando nightclub.

    “ISIS wants to come here and harm Americans,” Barletta said. “They’re not content with harming Americans overseas, they want more of what we saw in Orlando.”

    Walczak did not dispute Barletta’s belief that stances against illegal immigration play well with voters.

    “The lesson we learned from watching Barletta is that you can win,” he said. “I wouldn’t disagree demagoguery can be effective.”

    But he said Barletta’s proposed laws ultimately hurt Hazleton, and Trump’s stances will hurt the country.

    “It leaves carnage behind for someone else to pick up,” he said.

    Walczak noted that Hazleton was stuck with an order to pay $1.4 million in attorneys fees to the ACLU when a federal judge threw out its regulations as unconstitutional in 2007.

    Though it never took effect, the policy created a “toxic environment” of strife between Hispanics and whites, he said. In the meantime, fears of crime and an economic downturn caused by immigration to the blue-collar city were never realized.

    “The ugly truth is that for years, the Republican Party – Barletta included – has used divisive tactics and has exploited unfounded fears for political gain,” said Brandon Cwalina, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

    Anzur would not make Barletta’s policy paper on immigration available.

    But Barletta described his views in the interview.

    He opposes creating a path for illegal immigrants to become citizens before the country stops more undocumented workers from crossing its borders.

    Otherwise, he said, the government will send the wrong message to people from other countries who’ve entered illegally.

    Barletta said immigrants applying for citizenship should be interviewed to make sure they are not dangerous – something he doubts is possible for an estimated 11.4 million people now living here illegally.

    Biometric technology, such as fingerprinting, should be used to ensure that people who arrive in the United States with temporary visas leave, he said.

    “We do need a wall,” to stop immigrants from crossing borders, he said.

    http://www.tribdem.com/news/congress...cb295266d.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Goldendaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    By Kery Murakami CNHI Washington Reporter 1 hr ago

    But he said Barletta’s proposed laws ultimately hurt Hazleton, and Trump’s stances will hurt the country.

    Walczak noted that Hazleton was stuck with an order to pay $1.4 million in attorneys fees to the ACLU when a federal judge threw out its regulations as unconstitutional in 2007.

    http://www.tribdem.com/news/congress...cb295266d.html

    Sounds to me like that Federal Judge and the ACLU hurt Hazelton, not Barletta. If Barletta was allowed to enforce current immigration laws without interference from such special interests or treasonous judges, 1.4 million could have been saved and have been used for economic growth.
    MW likes this.

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