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Hope for Senator Santorum?
Thumb patrick cleburne
June 14, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Senator Rick Santorum's strategy of emphasizing his opposition to (and his opponent's support for) the Kennedy-Bush Amnesty/Immigration Acceleration Bill looks shrewd, judging by a report today from the front line. The Hazelton Pennsylvania Standard-Speaker has an editorial [It's the illegal immigration, stupid  June 14 2006] which explains why:

What's the hot-button issue for this year's Congressional elections?… It's immigration. Mayor Louis Barletta, upset over recent crimes by illegal immigrants, announced a bold initiative Monday. First, he proposed making English Hazleton's  "official language," a local take on a concept that has been floated on the national level. Second, and even more significant, he proposed levying $1,000 fines on businesses that hire illegal aliens and on landlords who fail to get documentation from prospective tenants...

The mayor—who has been an activist on several fronts — says he has never seen such a huge response to any previous comment or proposal. (VDARE.com emphasis)

The Standard-Speaker has seen a similar reaction. E-mails and letters to the editor began coming in as soon as Monday's paper hit the streets. The sentiment has been all but unanimously in favor of the mayor's stance.

Many politicians and pundits— particularly those who operate within the confines of the Capital Beltway—don't seem to appreciate how concerned Americans are about the threat posed by illegal immigration. They seem to think the issue is only important in areas near the Mexican border, or in certain urban neighborhoods.

One TV pundit opined the other night that folks in Iowa aren't concerned about illegal aliens. He couldn't be more wrong. Sections of Iowa, like Hazleton, have seen huge influxes of Hispanic immigrants fueled by the arrival of big meat-packing plants. They see the problem first-hand. And they are worried.

Today in The Washington Times Rep. Lamar Smith is quoted:
The recent special-election victory of Rep. Brian P. Bilbray, California Republican, who made tough anti-immigration measures a centerpiece of his campaign, “changed a lot of people’s thinking on the issue,” Mr. Smith said. “It shows how politically advantageous it is to talk about the issue..."
[Immigration bill suffers setback  AP June 14 2006]

Perhaps after November Senator Santorum's re election will be attracting the same remarks.