Mayor Lou Barletta was in court defending the Hazelton ordinance on illegal immigration:
Reciting a mantra that has catapulted him to the national stage, Barletta also said he firmly believes illegal immigrants should be flushed out across the country, and that he introduced the ordinance because he is responsible for providing public safety. ”I saw a problem in my city, and I tried to do something about it,” he said.
Hey, more power to you if you believe this. I don’t, but try and sway me with facts and hard evidence Lou:
But Barletta admitted he had no idea how many illegal immigrants live in his city of about 32,000 and that he didn’t rely on any data to conclude they are the root of its problems.
Oh. Well, uh, I’m sure you did research to try and find some evidence?
The ordinance, remodeled several times and barred from enactment pending the outcome of the court case, includes assertions that illegal immigration has contributed to overcrowding in schools and hospitals and ”destroys the overall quality of life.”But Barletta admitted he did not contact the school district to ask about alleged overcrowding, call the hospital for statistics on the treatment of illegal immigrants or seek any data to back up any of the claims. Instead, Barletta said he assumed schools were overcrowded because classes were being held in trailers, and he read in the local newspaper that test scores had fallen.
Barletta also said he relied on conversations with hospital personnel to determine that ”uninsured people” were trying to use the emergency room, and he got phone calls from residents telling him that emergency room waiting time was up to six hours.
”So you had no data on hospital treatments or other health care?” asked Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
”No,” Barletta said.
He had no data on any other city services, from sanitation to fire calls, that could prove his contention that illegal immigrants were draining city services and the budget, Barletta said. But he claimed he didn’t need statistics to point out what was obvious to him and other longtime Hazleton residents.
Oh. Uh, ok. No evidence, no research other than ‘conversations’ and reading the newspaper(both of which ordinary Joe on the street could do) and nothing beyond simple rhetoric. Hmpf. I’m almost thinking that this was a ploy to bring attention to yourself Lou…or maybe divert attention from the issues of another (former) prominent Pennsylvania Republican. This issue came to a head when Rick Santorum was trying to desperately hold onto his Senate seat, right?
Lou Barletta does not need statistics to prove anything about anything. He feels it in his GUT, much like Stephen Colbert or Joe Morgan. Statistics and ‘evidence’ just cloud the obvious truth that illegals were causing problems in Hazelton, especially when they committed crimes:
Outside court, Walczak said the statistics revealed that crime in Hazleton has not increased out of proportion to the rise in population, and that illegal immigrants were not committing a lot of crimes. Walczak said the city identified only 20 to 30 serious crimes that involved illegal immigrants out of more than 8,000 crimes.
Yeah, but that’s…But look at….But Lou says….oh crap I got nothing. Someone help Lou out on this, he’s drowning.
For another take