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Latinos in Hazleton React to Trump’s Proposed Immigration Bill

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HAZLETON -- The immigration policy announcement made by President Donald Trump and two U.S. Senators brings concern to many Latinos in Hazleton.

"(I was) surprised," Amilcar Arroyo said. "Sad. It's a little bit unfair."

The proposed policy change would give priority to high-skilled and English-speaking immigrants. Amilcar Arroyo is the editor of a bilingual publication. He immigrated to the United States from Peru at the age of 40. He now works in Hazleton.

"There are more than 15,000 Latinos in Hazleton, and I think we contribute to the economy in many ways," Arroyo said. "Even when we hear that people don't agree with that."

Newswatch 16 also spoke with Dr. Chestean Santana, a dentist in Hazleton who is also an immigrant. After hearing about the bill, he believes it will not pass.

"I don't know if they are going to pass it because they have a lot of cuckoo ideas," Santana said. "I don't think they will pass it."

The congressman for Hazleton, Lou Barletta, issued a statement about the immigration bill:

"I commend Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue for introducing this legislation to move our country toward a skills-based immigration system that will raise American workers’ wages, create jobs, and benefit our economy.  We have immigration laws in this country for two basic reasons: to protect national security and to preserve American jobs.  This bill reinforces those principles.

"For more than a decade, I have argued that fixing our broken immigration system will create greater economic opportunities for American workers and families.  Yet, for decades, politicians in Washington have supported policies that benefit foreign workers at the expense of American workers.  Just one out of every 15 immigrants to the United States comes here because of their skills.  This influx of low-skilled immigrant labor has decreased wages for those without college degrees by nearly 20 percent since the 1970s, and threatens to place the American Dream out of reach for far too many workers and their families.  That has to change if we want to help American workers find jobs and remain competitive in today’s increasingly global economy.  I look forward to working with the White House and my colleagues in Congress, particularly Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Senators Cotton and Perdue, to follow through on President Trump’s promise to reform our immigration system so that it puts America first."


  • Marie Erin Challenger

    I am delighted with the new imigration proposal. I think it’s a win- win for the individual imigrant and America. After all, people Imigrate for a better economic opportunity and new American future so Trump’s plan works for both. It’s smart.

  • lookback

    Ever hear, be careful of that which you ask for? Think about this proposal, if you are a skilled welder, Trump wants to bring in foreign skilled welders to take your job, if you are a skilled machinist, Trump wants to bring in skilled machinists to take your job, if you are a skilled equipment operator, Lou Barletta wants to bring in skilled equipment operators to take your job. Oh the bill sounds great until you realize bringing in skilled workers only won’t stop an immigrant from taking your low wage labor job, it means the skilled immigrant will be taking your good paying skilled job and you may end up being the one now applying for a low skilled, low paying job.

    • Kat

      The jobs have to be there for anyone to take them. Now, what do you think might happen if a skilled job opening became available. Who do you think would get the job? The natural born citizen, or the “skilled immigrant?”

  • Lee

    How do all these latinos get drivers license if they cant speek english.r road sighns r in English. Red means means anything goes.

  • Real American

    There should be 2 reaction:
    Here legally: Don’t worry and be glad the government is enforcing the law. You worked hard to get here (most likely)
    Here illegally: Be in fear, get out and you’re more then welcome to come back legally if you have no further criminal record and can provide value to this great country.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    This bill will never get through the Senate with the never-Trumper RINOS in there. They’re out to get the President as much as the Dems are. Traitors, every last one of them.

  • a ruined town

    I always heard Hazleton was an illegal dump of a town. Well, I watched an episode of COPS in Hazleton and holy cow, it looks like a town in El Salvador. The town is actually ruined. Looks like a bombed out warzone. Is this what the Hispanics will be doing to the rest of our nice, Americana towns? Good grief!

  • Dave

    Growing up in Scranton in the 50’s and 60’s was a great experience and I would do it again,but it was always known that places like Hazleton ,Williamsport ,ect were even better places to raise a family at that time, they had less crime than Scranton and they had that small town everybody knew everybody closeness. I can see the anger of those who live there and remember the area as I remember it. I see the news every day and it is disturbing to hear that the Town drunk is no longer the talk of the town. Good luck to you all ..May I suggest a dialog with those who you despise and are legal..After all if all 15,000 Latinos in you’re area were criminals then we would have to send in the national guard. Have them help you find the bad apples and to the Latino’s..Wake up and do you’re part with a little self responsibility to you’re community. You can start at home with you juvenile kids and tell you’re extended families in Guadalajara it’s best to stay put and getting here illegally is a crime…

  • Harv

    Shenandoah Helps hazleton s illegal overflow. But Mahanoy could be next days in blighted row homes need company.

  • McCracken

    This is just a way for poor, dumb American citizens to distract the rest of society from how worthless they are. Classic slight of hand.

    • Shame for America's Children

      ICE needs to go to DC and deport trump’s escort-service wife. She lied on her visa application and then over-stayed it — i.e. illegal alien

  • John

    I go to the Walmart in Dickson City, quite often…I see a lot of Latino, people there, and I have never ever heard any of them speaking english. I’m talking about dozens, and dozens of encounters…never hear them speaking english. They don’t assimilate, assimilation was never their intention…its an invasion.

    • Shame for America's Children

      It’s not your business whatsoever what language people speak between themselves.

  • Patriots keep right

    Just a couple of “crime news”, stories ago the crazy media claimed there is no evidence of over population regarding Latino’s in the Hazleton area! Now the hypocrisy of lunatic left-wing media shows again.
    Why are they in Hazleton asking the citizens about Trump’s new immigration bill? Patriots

  • Tom J.

    Who cares what “latinos” think about this proposed legislation. How about asking some other citizens. It’s about time we proposed something that actually benefitted this country. We want to bring people herpe that actually add something to this country instead of taking from it like free healthcare, free medical care when they’re sick or pregnant. Isn’t it terrible that we want this country to benefit from immigration.

  • magicmikexxsm

    “There are more than 15,000 Latinos in Hazleton,…………………..and there is the problem. sorry Amilcar Arroyo, but we are not buying your b.s……..we don’t care where you are from, as long as you are legal.
    Just tell your Latino’s to assimilate to American culture , and English…..problem you Latino’s have is you move here and you won’t assimilate and won’t speak English while out in public….you know how mother effing annoying that is to a white English speaking person Amilcar Arroyo???? I go shopping and I think I time traveled to mexico or another Latino country, oh but I’m in Hazleton Pa….But just so we are clear Amilcar Arroyo, my grand parents came here in 1912 from Italy, they spoke broken English, and where proud to be Americans and assimilate into American culture, as a boy of 6 I’d stay in Pa with them for the summers we’d go to what they called back in the day the Hazleton shopping center, you know where the UPS store is on broad st….one day I asked them why they didn’t speak Italian while out town, they said oh no we are proud to be Americans we speak English out town, now in the house they spoke Italian only if they didn’t want me to know what they where talking about…..see Amilcar Arroyo that’s the difference between European immigrants from back in the day to you lazy no good Latino’s…everywhere you go you are the scourge of the earth just a tick above a Muslim rot gut.
    So Amilcar Arroyo , you wonder why the white folks of Hazleton hate your kind, if you have not figured that out yet, you are a lost cause.
    Go TRUMP

  • Todd

    If any of you are from Hazleton back in the seventy,s We wore t shirts that read Im from Mafia city Hazleton PA and it was so white then it hurt your eyes.That was the good old day,s.

  • Robert

    Holy Crap! 15k? That fast? Did Hazelton expand, or was it invaded and those with money left on the next train out town? How the devil does the tax base shrink, and the population increase like that. Something weird is going on up there! Can a Town catch a Virus, you guys need some penicillin, or a wall!

    • magicmikexxsm

      Because 1 latino buys a half double, or a piece of row home, and 3 to 5 more families with kids move into live there…why you think the Hazleton High School is so over crowded, you think all those lation’s their now have their own home, no they move from NY NJ to here and burden the tax payers who pay the property / school taxes…

  • lester

    They want to allow english speaking, skilled immigrants in, just like that dentist. Totally agree. Huge boost to our national workforce. On the other hand, can we deport all the people who dont (dont want to) have skills? That would go for immigrants, aliens, nationals and citizens alike too. Just a thought

  • Robert

    What’s so different about this policy in comparison to those of other countries including Mexico or Canada?
    Two generations ago, the immigrants didn’t steal my tax dollars BTW Broken Mirror.

  • i quit..


    • Reality's: Believe It or Not

      Sorry but unlike your glorious Hilary, he hasn’t broken any laws. You lost, Get over it.

  • look in the mirror

    I would love to see the reactions if this were two generations ago and the President wanted to ban Poles, Irish and Eastern Europeans. None of you would exist today.

      • Reason

        Gee– You have no understanding of history and are clearly racist. I guess the immigrant driven Mafias (of all the various ethnicities) which terrorized huge segments of the population don’t count.

      • McCracken

        Reason, don’t bother arguing with stupid people. They’re too stupid to see their flawed logic.

  • Need Makers, Not Takers

    I don’t know much about this subject other than what little I read here. However, it would seem that immigrants with job and language skills would be more likely to support themselves and not rely on me to do to that for them. What’s the problem with that logic Dr. Cuckoo?

Comments are closed.