Landlords: Our First Line Of National Defense
Hazleton, a city of about 31,000 people 80 miles from Philadelphia, voted last month to fine landlords $1,000 for renting to illegal immigrants, deny business permits to companies that give them jobs, and make English the city’s official language.
So landlords and business owners will be working for the INS. The mayor “proposed the ordinance after two illegal immigrants were charged with shooting and killing a man,” the article says, since illegals can’t kill anybody if you don’t rent them an apartment first.
Sometimes when I type up the police blotter at work I’ll see an arrestee is “of no certain address,” which never stops him from committing a crime but I’m probably digressing here. Anyway, the article doesn’t give too many more details beyond this:
It is not clear how many illegal immigrants live in Hazleton, but the city’s Hispanic population has soared in recent years.So I went looking for more about this story. Most of Google News’ first hits when I searched “Lou Barletta” were rehashes of the same bland AP bit, but I did find an interesting letter to the editor written by a woman who praises Barletta’s anti-immigration stance because it will stop the slaughter in Iraq and save us from the Nazis (I think):
Our country is not run by one leader alone. The foundation of our forefathers upholds our freedoms built on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our pledge to uphold these freedoms.
We the people, in order to form a more perfect government, must speak out while we have a voice.
Mayor Lou Barletta, Hazelton, Pa., spoke out for the American people. We applaud you.
History repeats, and our young men are being slaughtered, shedding their own blood in the George W. Bush self-appointed war. Remembering World War II Nazi Germany: "and I didn't speak up and then they came for me." Has political correctness held the tight-lipped American taxpayers in bondage?
Elie Weisel quotes, "Because I remember I despair. Because I remember I have the duty to reject despair."
Another day on the battlefield can be a day too late. Another life lost is another life too many. Are we guilty of indirectly making this war possible? Are we the culprits?
Let us put an end to this insane madness while we still have a voice.
FRANCES ROSE, Framingham
Caveat: it’s not necessarily Barletta’s fault that the first supporter of his I could find in a Google search turned out to be the Frances Rose of Framingham, Pennsylvania. Determined to be fair, I searched again and found Barletta himself explaining the benefits of this law:
[Barletta says] he is taking steps to ensure the law is enforced fairly.“I’m aware of people’s concerns that they’ll be targeted,” said Barletta, clasping his hands in front of him and shaking his head.
Leaders of the Hispanic community and activists promising a legal challenge have expressed concerns the ordinance will cause landlords, fearing punishment, to simply not rent to any Hispanics or subject them to more scrutiny than tenants of other ethnic backgrounds.
That is why Barletta said he would require all tenants to register with city hall and pay a $10 fee to obtain an occupancy permit. If they do not, their landlords could be punished, regardless of the renter’s immigration or citizenship status.
The illegal immigration ordinance, which will take effect in about two months, fines landlords $1,000 per illegal tenant and $100 for each day the renter stays after the initial fine. Another proposed ordinance, which passed the first reading a week ago, would enforce the same fines for landlords renting to any tenant who fails to obtain a permit, even if they are a legal resident or a U.S. citizen.
See how it works? The city will check the renters’ immigration status, so I was wrong to say this places an unreasonable burden on landlords to do background checks on their tenants. No, it merely requires people who aren’t homeowners to get permits from the government before they can pay for a place to live. Hooray for Mayor Lou Barletta, defending the principles of American freedom from the oppressive Mexican hordes.