Call for paid service +44 (0)344-991-9222

Santa's immigration status questioned in the US

Support migrant centric journalism today and donate

Watch This Video

Santa isn't welcome in Hazleton because he's an illegal immigrant just like all the others the small Pennsylvania town in the United States is trying to get rid of - or so someone would have you believe.

A new website,, says the town intends to keep Santa out this Christmas because he represents the illegal immigration the town council believes increases crime and burdens local services.

But the site is a hoax, created by someone in a bid to satirize a local law passed in July that has attracted national attention by imposing penalties on businesses and landlords to deter them from hiring or renting rooms to illegal immigrants.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, who instigated the Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance, said neither he nor the City of Hazleton are involved with the website and that while he's not taking it seriously, it may be illegal because it invites online donations.

The town has referred it to police.

The site pretends to quote Barletta as saying, "Santa is a dangerous idea whose reign must be put to an end."

A "press release" on the site says a coalition of elected officials and concerned citizens have come together to act against "the nation's most prominent undocumented worker."

Hazleton's immigration 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. It is expected to be heard in early 2007.

Hazleton is a former coal-mining town of 31,000 people in the eastern part of the state.

Barletta said he has no idea who created the site, adding: "Whoever did that will certainly be getting coal for Christmas."


Another US town to make it illegal to hire illegals
US town at center of lawsuit passes new, tougher immigration law

US town sued over strict immigration law
States in the US passing their own immigration laws

US census data reveals 16% immigration increase in 5 years
US study - Immigrants probably don't take jobs from Americans
US cracking down on employers of illegal immigrants

Bush administration announces end of 'catch-and-release' for illegals
US state by state immigration rules
US Republican party shuts down immigration reform debate