Mayor who targeted illegal immigrants easily wins third term
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta easily won re-election Tuesday to a third term, and in his victory party he talked about fighting drugs and violence in the city.
He also talked about the issue of illegal immigrants.
He said, “We’ve seen what illegal immigration has done to our small town quality of life and we have said, ‘No! We will not let this happen.”‘ He said, “We will fight!”
Barletta, a Republican, gained national prominence by targeting illegal immigrants living in his Luzerne County city.
Yesterday, he defeated Libertarian candidate John Medashefski, a coffee shop owner who had argued that the city should drop its costly effort to push through a law targeting illegal immigrants.
Unofficial returns showed Barletta winning 90 percent of the vote to Medashefski’s 10 percent.
In the primary, Barletta also won the Democratic nomination as a write-in candidate, easily defeating a comeback bid by a former mayor and leaving himself with no Democrat to face in the general election.
Last year, Barletta pushed through a law that targeted landlords who rented to illegal immigrants and businesses that employed them in this city of 30,000. The law, emulated by dozens of towns around the nation, was struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional. The judge said states and municipalities cannot regulate immigration.
The city has since appealed.
The fact that Mayor Barletta’s was reelection by such an overwhelming margin demonstrates that his position on the illegal immigration issue goes well beyond party lines. He has taken his position and stood up and fought for it and for the welfare of his city against the ACLU and other very deep pocketed opponents. The citizens of Hazelton should be commended, & the Mayor congratulated.
There are a lot of Representatives and Senators, and a whole host of Presidential Candidates out there that could learn something from this small town mayor.