Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pennsylvania town taking immigration into their own hands

In Hazleton, PA - a town not too far from Lancaster - the mayor passed a measure that gave authorities "extraordinary power" when dealing with illegal immigrants. The law was actually targeted at employers and landlords who dealt with illegal immigrants. Since it passed in Hazleton, federal court has deemed it unconstitutional. Still, the desire to pass the law and the support it has received from Hazleton's non-Latino population has caused tension in the town. Hispanic residents who are citizens of the US are targeted the same as illegal immigrants, and discriminated against in town. Hazleton also blames increased crime on the illegal population.
I think this raises interesting questions about immigration control and policy in the United States. The mayor, Lou Barletta, (who now plans to run for congress) passed the bill because it was his duty to protect the (legal) residents of his town. He also mentioned that the officials in Washington weren't doing their jobs in this area. Should towns and cities be able to control the illegal immigrant population as they wish? Is it important for the safety of each municipality? Or should it be federally regulated? Hazleton's story suggests that towns want more control over their own populations, however unconstitutional it may seem.

A New U.S Border Patrol?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Should President Carter Have Met with Hamas?

The former president says that the issue is not that he met with Hamas, widely regarded as a terrorist organization, but that the United States and Israel refuse to. Should organizations considered to be terrorist be included in diplomatic dialogue if the goal is peace? Or would this encourage groups to employ terrorist tactics to gain a voice? Was former President Carter out of place and did his meeting legitimate a terrorist group, or are the policies of not negotiating with terrorists outdated and impeding the peace process?