WYOMISSING, Pa. - Why is Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach beginning his television campaign here in Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District with an ad criticizing President Bush on illegal immigration? Answers: Bush is unpopular and illegal immigration is a hot issue in the district, particularly in the city of Reading, which has a 40 percent Latino population and is partly represented by Gerlach… "Clearly it’s one of the top issues in the district,” Gerlach says, adding that he was surprised by the number of comments from constituents about the "no" vote on the Senate's immigration bill.
Like Santorum, Gerlach does not have a stellar record on immigration, and even now some of his remarks sound wobbly. But he is a professional, and he is responding to the facts on the ground: many of these old-established small towns in the state, a hundred miles and more from metropolitan centers, are being transformed for the worse. The natives were not asked and they resent it.
“Reading is just full of (immigrant) people who migrated here from New York. They come here for the entitlements,” said Brad Scribner, a Republican member of the Wyomissing Borough Council. “We’re just known as an easy take. You can just sign up for all sorts of programs.”
(VDARE.com understands the cheap housing stock in these not very prosperous areas is a key magnet.)
A significant aspect of this story is that Gerlach is having trouble in the richer areas of the district, where being against the Kennedy-Bush Amnesty/Immigration Bill will no doubt be seen as threatening economical yard work and child care.
As in the case of Helen Krieble, selfish rich Republicans are an obstacle to rational immigration reform