Cherokee should take courage from Hazelton mayor

By D.A. KIng, Cherokee Tribune, January 14, 2007

"I took an oath of office to protect and defend the people of my community. We're not going to back down and we'll fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to."

- Lou Barletta, Mayor of Hazleton, Penn., on his city's Illegal Immigration Relief Act

Last summer, having grown weary of the lack of federal enforcement and bearing the skyrocketing costs of illegal immigration and employment, the city council in the small Pennsylvania town of Hazleton approved an ordinance aimed at employers who hire illegal aliens and landlords who rent to them.

In a demonstration of genuine courage and leadership, and despite an endless cacophony of name calling - not to mention a highly publicized lawsuit - Barletta, has proven to be as good as his word and has not backed down from the powerful illegal alien lobby.

After passing - by a unanimous vote - an ordinance aimed at landlords similar to a section of Hazleton's just last month, the Cherokee County Georgia Board of Commissioners recently voluntarily agreed to do exactly what the mayor of Hazleton vowed to avoid.

It backed down.

No one who was present at the Board of Commissioners' public hearing on the ordinance in November could doubt the widespread citizen support for the Cherokee law. No one can dispute that it is a violation of existing law to assist, harbor, transport, shelter, employ, aid, abet or encourage an illegal alien to remain in the United States - or that local authority to enforce immigration law is inherent in that law - so the question must be asked: Why did the Cherokee Commissioners and their new chairman roll over so easily and quickly?

For the answers, follow the money and the power of the radical open borders agenda of the usual suspects who profit from the continued lawlessness.

A brilliant example of this fringe group of hustlers can be found in one of the most vocal opponents of the Cherokee ordinance, a local attorney, Jamie Hernan of Hernan, Taylor & Lee of Canton.

To give the reader an idea of the level of Hernan's interest in illegal immigration and his understandable opposition to local enforcement aimed at that issue, we should all consider this little nugget: Until a link to the law firm's internet Website was posted on the Dustin Inman Society Website last week, the Hernan, Taylor & Lee "immigration " page featured an offer of a 10 percent discount on legal fees for "pre-registration" related to any future legal help with an application for amnesty under any coming guest worker program for illegals.

Think about it.

According to a Cox News Service report, a May 2006 Atlanta-to-Washington bus trip to lobby Congress on the merits of repeating the failed 1986 path to citizenship for illegal aliens and a guest-worker program was led by Chris Taylor, a partner in Hernan, Taylor.

The group of 30 fellow advocates for illegal aliens included actual illegal aliens - the source of so much potential income for the lawyers.

Who lobbies for the Americans in America?

Absent the promised protection of the federal government, Cherokee citizens should be very concerned about the willingness of their commissioners and chairman to do what must be done to protect them from the consequences of illegal immigration.

In addition to the landlord ordinance, also adopted in December was a resolution requiring the county to begin using an available federal tool - the Basic Pilot Program - to verify the employment eligibility of its newly hired employees and to require that any and all contractors hired by the county do the same.

Neither the Basic Pilot Program or the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program, which was also part of the December resolution, had been implemented.

If the goal in Cherokee is to protect citizens from the ravages of illegal immigration and prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for illegal labor or public benefits to applicants who are in the county illegally, these programs must be put into place as they have been in Cobb County.

Cherokee County will be well-served if those in charge find the same determination as Mayor Barletta has in Pennsylvania, and the courage to stand up to the lawyers who assist their criminal future clients.

More Lou Barlettas, por favor.

King is president of the Dustin Inman Society, a Marietta-based coalition actively opposed to illegal immigration. On the Web: (

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