Saturday, March 24, 2007

US town tries to ban housing and employing non-status migrants

America watches as one small town tries to turn back time on immigration. Suzanne Goldenberg in Hazleton. March 23, 2007

The outcome of a lawsuit challenging a crackdown on illegal Latino workers could frame nationwide policies

The women's agitation rises from the booth at the local diner, over the lunchtime clatter and the waitresses calling out their orders. Unruly teenagers, street crime, people chattering in Spanish in the street - the women tut and shake their heads. A wave of immigrants has arrived in this former mining town in the Pennsylvania mountains and many of the old-timers do not like it.

"When I come back here I am shocked at what I see," says Monica Tombasco, who grew up in Hazleton and is back to visit her elderly aunt, Mary. "It's scary," says her aunt. "In McDonald's when we go on Saturdays they are always there talking in their language. We never know if they are talking about us."

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