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US town bans Santa

'Zero tolerance' for illegal worker

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The Pennsylvania town of Hazleton has declared its intention to enforce controversial illegal immigration legislation by banning Santa from its boundaries this Xmas.

The "No Santa for Hazleton" campaign is the latest manifestation of the town's "Illegal Immigrant Relief Act", passed earlier this year, which "attracted national attention by imposing penalties on businesses and landlords to deter them from hiring or renting rooms to illegal immigrants", as Reuters explains.

The No Santa for Hazleton website declares:

The people of Hazleton, PA are proud to announce a citizen-organized public awareness campaign called "No Santa for Hazleton." The campaign will use Santa Claus' status as America's most-loved illegal worker to demonstrate Hazleton's new "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal aliens.

Hazleton has been at the forefront of the War on Immigration since this past summer, when, in response to a surge in illegal immigration, the city passed its "Illegal Immigrant Relief Act." The public response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Mayor Lou Barletta's heroics gained the town national attention, including appearances on 60 Minutes and CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight. Following Hazleton's example, over 30 other towns across America have passed or are considering similar laws to drive out illegal immigration and labor.

The site further quotes Hazleton's mayor Lou Barletta as saying: "Santa is a dangerous idea whose reign must be put to an end."

Barletta, meanwhile, is not amused. While he said he's "not taking [the website] seriously, it may be illegal because it invites online donations". Accordingly, the town has "referred it to police". He told Reuters: "Whoever did that will certainly be getting coal for Christmas."

Mercifully for Hazleton's children, the authorities will not be able to pop a cap in Father Christmas's illegal ass this Xmas, since the Illegal Immigrant Relief Act has been "temporarily blocked by a federal judge pending a lawsuit against the town brought by immigrant supporters, including the American Civil Liberties Union". A hearing in 2007 will decide Santa's fate. ®

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