UPDATED: Daryl Metcalfe really doesn’t like immigrants | Blogh

UPDATED: Daryl Metcalfe really doesn’t like immigrants

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Anyone who has followed the illustrious career of Butler County’s own state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe wouldn’t ever mistake him for a supporter of Latino immigrants.

He has introduced numerous pieces of legislation to make English the state’s official language, supported measures to punish businesses found to be employing undocumented workers, and tried to pass a bill that would have allowed police officers to ask for the immigration status of a person pulled over during a “lawful stop.”

But his newest piece of legislation takes the cake. The man who has vowed to stop the “illegal alien invasion,” as he has called it on numerous occasions, wants to “suspend the harboring of illegal alien youth.”

At least those are the words in the headline of a press release (printed in its entirety after the jump) announcing legislation he plans to introduce that would “suspend the state-issued licenses of any care facility entering into a contract with the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide housing to unaccompanied illegal alien youth.”

“Since October 2013, 66,000 unaccompanied illegal alien youth crossed the United States’ border. The year prior, only 35,000 crossed the border. Teenagers account for 84 percent, although the number of younger youth making the journey is increasing rapidly,” Metcalfe said in the release. “Since October 2013, 66,000 unaccompanied illegal alien youth crossed the United States’ border. The year prior, only 35,000 crossed the border. Teenagers account for 84 percent, although the number of younger youth making the journey is increasing rapidly.”

Metcalfe’s release spouts a lot of the rhetoric that has been spewed in recent months as young Latino refugees have come to the country seeking asylum from danger in their own countries.

“Pennsylvania residents have expressed concerns that unaccompanied illegal alien youth entering the Commonwealth could be carrying contagious diseases and that older youth could be members of violent gangs,” Metcalfe said in the statement.

However, as a July City Paper story and countless other media have pointed out, those fears are unfounded and amount to little more than good-old American fear-mongering.

Metcalfe might know this for himself if he bothered to talk with some of Pennsylvania's immigrant population, but as he told City Paper in 2007, "I don't speak Mexican."

UPDATE: ACLU PA legal director Vic Walczak calls the proposal “heartless and illegal.”

"If these folks are coming into the state through a federal immigration program, they can’t say they’re not going to participate," Walczak says. "The state of Pennsylvania cannot make that kind of immigration determination."

Walczak echoed that this isn't Metcalfe's first time supporting anti-immigrant legislation.

"Metcalfe hasn’t learned from his support of the ill-fated Hazleton legislation,” an ordinance in Luzerne County city that "would have required all landlords to check the immigration status of tenants and required all employers to check the immigration status of employees in ways that are beyond what federal laws allows." The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the law was unconstitutional.

"I think it’s heartless because these are child refugees who come from horrendous circumstances," Walczak said of Metcalfe's announcement earlier today. "If there are people who want to give them a temporary home, bless them — don’t punish them."

Here's the release:

Metcalfe Delivers State’s Rights Solution to Suspend Harboring of Illegal Alien Youth

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Majority Chairman, Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) distributed the following co-sponsorship memo today regarding his soon-to-be-introduced legislation that would suspend the state-issued licenses of any care facility entering into a contract with the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide housing to unaccompanied illegal alien youth.

The memo states:

“In the near future I will introduce legislation that defends state’s rights by suspending all Pennsylvania-issued licenses of any care facility entering into a contract with President Barack Obama’s Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide housing to unaccompanied illegal alien youth.

“Since October 2013, 66,000 unaccompanied illegal alien youth crossed the United States’ border. The year prior, only 35,000 crossed the border. Teenagers account for 84 percent, although the number of younger youth making the journey is increasing rapidly.

“President Obama is largely and directly responsible for this unprecedented surge in illegal immigration of alien youth. Unclear immigration directives from the administration encourage adolescents to make the dangerous journey. Charging an average of $8,000 per person, Central America’s network of human smugglers and drug traffickers are experiencing an economic boom by transporting these youths to the U.S. border.

“The Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts with private facilities to house unaccompanied illegal alien youth after they are taken into custody at the border. Office of Refugee Resettlement requires these facilities maintain state-issued licenses necessary to provide youth housing, medical care and education.

“Suspending the licenses of care facilities entering into contracts with the Office of Refugee Resettlement would nullify eligibility for the contract, and also disqualifies the facilities from housing other youth. This legislation will also prohibit any contracts between the Commonwealth and the Office of Refugee Resettlement to house unaccompanied illegal alien youth in state-owned facilities.

“Pennsylvania residents have expressed concerns that unaccompanied illegal alien youth entering the Commonwealth could be carrying contagious diseases and that older youth could be members of violent gangs. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has not released any information of possible criminal background or medical information of youth sent to facilities in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

“At this time there are approximately 500 unaccompanied illegal alien youth residing in Pennsylvania. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, to educate these youth in the state’s public school system could cost Pennsylvanians approximately $11 million. The Commonwealth’s taxpayers simply cannot afford to absorb the cost to participate in this federal program.

“I consider it a moral obligation that Pennsylvania refrains from participation in this federal program that provides no real long-term solutions to U.S. immigration policy or border security. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.”

Staff writer Alex Zimmerman contributed

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