Republican Donald Trump recently held a roundtable of top campaign officials and allies to discuss national security policy. Two conservative Republican congressmen from Pennsylvania — Tom Marino and Lou Barletta — took part.
Barletta, in particular, is known as a hard-liner on immigration.
As mayor of Hazelton — which he now represents in Congress — he led a broad, controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants, penalizing businesses that hired them and landlords who rented to them.
He said he and Trump share a similar vision for national immigration policy.
“It’s keep America safe,” he said. “And, you know, that’s what really is at the heart of my stance and where he stands … how do you keep America safe? And I’ve understood for a long time the effect that illegal immigration has on national security.”
He added that his own experience navigating tricky conversations on the subject come in handy in advising Trump.
“I’ve had to deal with the national media and, you know, the probing questions that come along with illegal immigration,” he said. “It’s a complicated issue and very easy to be misrepresented.”
Barletta said discussion at Trump’s meeting focused on tightening borders, making sure people don’t overstay visas, and training law enforcement to deal with domestic terrorism.
He and Marino both serve on the House Committee on Homeland Security.