Share This Page

Pennsylvania immigration proposal runs into barrier

HARRISBURG — Despite polls showing strong support among Pennsylvania voters, legislation patterned after Arizona's get-tough immigration law isn't expected to see the light of day in the Legislature anytime soon.

"I give every bill the attention it deserves," said Rep. Babette Josephs, a Philadelphia Democrat who chairs the committee that would oversee the bill. "I believe this bill deserves no attention whatsoever."

Portions of the law took effect today after a federal judge temporarily blocked the more controversial provisions pending further hearings.

Supporters say the law is necessary because the federal government fails to stop the overflow of immigrants at the borders.

Opponents claim the law will drain law enforcement resources and place the Hispanic community, including U.S. citizens, in a state of fear.

A recent Quinnipiac poll revealed 72 percent of those polled in Pennsylvania prefer law enforcement to deal the problem rather than integrating illegals into society. The same poll revealed 47 percent would like to see an Arizona-type law in Pennsylvania. An additional 34 percent said they would not want such a law. The remaining 20 percent had no opinion.

Sen. Frank Antenori, a Tucson Republican who grew up in the Poconos, said it was time for Arizona to take action.

"The federal government under the Constitution is supposed to provide for the common defense and protect the states from invasion. They aren't doing it, and the states have been left with that burden. The majority of Americans are really upset about it," said Antenori, a sponsor of the law.

Joe Hoesch, 67, of Baldwin calls the Arizona law "for me, a hot button issue."

"We have been economically invaded by foreigners and the Democratic leadership in Washington and Harrisburg consider it advantageous to do nothing," Hoesch said. "They refuse to protect our country by enforcing the existing law and allow the taxpayers to be raped. In Arizona, the drug wars have spilled across our border, and they (feds) do nothing. Terrorists are crossing our southern border and, yet, they do nothing."

The way Carlos Turcios, an international sales manager for Hormann Flexon LLC in Leetsdale, sees it: "It's similar to (stopping) every Muslim because you think they have a bomb.

"I drive every day from work," Turcios said. "If the police stop me because I appear to be Latin American, I will feel discriminated upon because I work and pay taxes."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.