Fierce Pa. Immigration Critic Wins House Seat

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Republican mayor whose get-tough policies on illegal immigrants attracted national attention won a U.S. House seat in Pennsylvania that was in Democratic hands for 26 years.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta defeated Rep. Paul Kanjorski after losing to him in 2002 and 2008. Barletta shot to national prominence in 2006 for his tough stance on illegal immigration but retooled his message to focus on jobs and the economy.

Barletta campaigned on the sluggish economy and 10 percent unemployment in the predominantly Democratic district that includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre (WILKS'-beh-ree) and parts of the Pocono Mountains.

Hazleton approved a law in 2006 to deny business permits to companies that employ illegal immigrants, fine landlords who rent to them, and require tenants to register and pay for a rental permit.

A federal judge struck it down as unconstitutional.


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