Audience not to blame
Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 11, 2007
The audience at the Notre Dame Forum on Monday reacted the way it did to Sen. Martinez, Gov. Napolitano and Cardinal Mahoney’s remarks – with sometimes thunderous applause – because what they said made good common sense across political boundaries. Martinez spoke of the need for comprehensive reform that ensures all of the U.S.’s interests are addressed. Napolitano discussed the challenges in maintaining border security, and Cardinal Mahoney spoke of the Church’s ministerial duties extending to everyone, residency status aside.
By stark contrast, Mayor Barletta’s remarks smacked largely of demagoguery and consisted of anecdotal stories about gang violence and traffic accidents. It sounds to me as though the mayor has a crime problem in Hazleton, not an illegal immigration problem. But he was far more interested in appealing to xenophobia than he was in actual solutions. He spoke of solutions once – punitive action against illegal employers. He rambled about evil illegals nearly all the rest of his time with the microphone. It is hard for a group of well-educated students and faculty trained in the art of intellectual discourse to respect someone who discussed such a complicated subject in such a simplistic manner.