Skip to content

Pennsylvania: Kanjorski Touts Stance on Illegal Immigration

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) has sent out franked mail touting his support for “tough ideas” to combat illegal immigration.

The mailing is notable because one of his potential opponents in 2008 is Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R), who garnered national attention for imposing strict anti-illegal-immigration policies in his northeastern Pennsylvania city.

Barletta’s tenure at city hall was popular enough to get him nominated on both the Republican and Democratic tickets for re-election in November. Kanjorski’s mailing was first reported Wednesday by the Allentown Morning Call.

“Paul Kanjorski is clearly feeling the heat over his atrocious record on illegal immigration and now he is resorting [to] misrepresenting his record,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said. “It is highly ironic that his mailer depicts the very same fence that he voted against fully funding. That would explain his failing grades from pro-enforcement organizations.”

Kanjorski responded in a statement that he has a “long standing record of voting against illegal immigration,” calling the mailer a “normal part of the effort to keep my constituents informed on the issues.”

If Barletta does decide to run against Kanjorski, it would not be the first time the two have faced each other. Barletta lost to Kanjorski in 2002, 56 percent to 42 percent — Kanjorski’s weakest showing in all of his 12 Congressional victories. Kanjorski outspent Barletta almost threefold in that race in a district that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) carried with 53 percent in the 2004 White House election.

— Shira Toeplitz