Some will climb over a fence. Others will sneak off a boat. And others will overstay an expired visa. All expect to find a better life here in the United States. But all are breaking the law.
There are up to 20 million illegal aliens in this country right now. They have imposed a tremendous burden on many of America's cities.
That's why I took action.
I saw my city gripped by fear. Because of violent acts committed by illegal aliens, my residents were afraid to shop — or even drive — on certain streets.
Illegal immigration was draining Hazleton's limited resources. Our small police department, our schools, and health care system were beginning to feel the strain. Legal residents were on the verge of being denied the services their tax dollars paid for.
Thousands of cities in America are crying out for relief from the burden of illegal immigration. Small towns like mine can no longer wait for Washington.
In Hazleton, we created ordinances designed to deter landlords and businesses from renting to and hiring illegals. Those who knowingly break our laws will face financial penalties. These laws will make Hazleton one of the toughest cities in the nation for illegals.
In 2004, Time magazine determined that 3 million illegals enter the country every year. That's six every single minute. Enough is enough.
The federal government has failed us, so we, the elected officials of small-town America, are getting tough with illegal immigration.
I'm Lou Barletta, and I'm a small town defender.
Lou Barletta is the mayor of Hazleton, Pa..