Listen to Grapple: Immigration and the Rust Belt

    On this episode, we bring you to Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The northeastern Pennsylvania city made national news a decade ago for trying to crack down on unauthorized immigrants.

    Episode 14 of Grapple centers around personal stories that speak to some of the intense and passionate feelings around immigration.

    On this episode, we bring you to Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The small city made national news a decade ago for trying to crack down on unauthorized immigrants.

    In 2006, Congressman Lou Barletta, then mayor of Hazleton, passed an ordinance called The Illegal Immigration Relief Act. The ordinance was pitched as a response to crime going up and set out to stop local companies from hiring undocumented workers and landlords who rented to them. The law was challenged by the ACLU in court and was found to be unconstitutional. 

    Although the ordinance never took effect, we’ll hear stories about its impact from longtime residents and revisit the city’s history.

    The second part of the show takes place in Philadelphia and focuses on the city’s thriving restaurant industry that has provided some jobs for immigrants working without papers. We’ll hear the stories of two undocumented chefs working in Philadelphia and how they feel stuck.

     

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.