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    Office Of The Mayor

    King’s to host immigration forum featuring mayors Lou Barletta and John DeStefano Jr.;

    (10/6/2009) Hazleton Mayor Louis Barletta and Mayor John DeStefano Jr. of New Haven, Conn., will discuss the different approaches each city is taking on immigration during a free public forum at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center at King’s College.

    During the event, titled “Forum on Immigration: Differing Approaches by Two Similar Cities,” each mayor will speak for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a question and session with the audience. Mayor DeStefano will appear by live telecast from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn.

    Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican, claims illegal immigration has increased crime in his working-class city of 30,000. He introduced and the city council approved the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, which would penalize landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and businesses that hire them. The Act was overturned in the courts and is currently under appeal.

    Mayor Barletta was defeated in 2002 and 2008 by nine-term Democratic incumbent Paul Kanjorski for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district. In 1999, he was elected Mayor of Hazleton. He has been re-elected twice, most recently in 2007.

    In 2008, John DeStefano Jr., a Democrat, began his eighth term as New Haven’s Mayor. In a city of 125,000, he is credited for embracing illegal immigrants as an important part of the town’s economic and social structure. In 2007, he launched a program to provide illegal immigrants with ID cards that enable them to open bank accounts and that provide access to city services.

    Prior to his election, Mayor DeStefano served in city government for more than 10 years as Deputy Controller, Chief Administrative Officer and Development Administrator. He has served as president of the National League of Cities and is a past president of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

    The Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center is located between N. Franklin and N. Main streets. The forum is locally sponsored by the McGowan Hispanic Outreach Program at King’s College and the College’s Political Science Department. Parking will be available at on-campus lots.

    For further information on the immigration forum, contact Bro. George Schmitz, C.S.C., McGowan Hispanic Outreach Program, at 208-8021 or e-mail georgeschmitz@kings.edu.

    King's College is a Catholic College sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.

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