On Election Day, Pennsylvanians will face an important moment of truth in the race for U.S. Senate. Voters will choose between the ineffectual two-term Democratic incumbent Bob Casey or his Republican U.S. House of Representatives challenger, four-term Lou Barletta.
Campaigns for high office feature embellished achievements and lofty promises for what the candidates will accomplish for their constituents. Forget the bluster. Look instead at the congressional voting records of Casey and Barletta. They reveal everything that Pennsylvanians need to know, the bad for Casey; the good for Barletta.
Casey portrays himself as a defender of American workers. But his voting pattern consistently proves that Casey has no interest in American workers’ well-being, but instead prefers to replace hard-working Americans with overseas workers via various employment-based visas, and amnesties that would provide the recipients with employment authorization documents. Visa holders and amnestied immigrants can then enter the U.S. labor market and compete head-to-head in a tough job environment with American citizens.
This year, Casey voted in favor of two separate amendments - one introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Angus King (I-ME), and the second by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Coons (D-DE) - that would have granted amnesties to millions of illegally present immigrants.
In 2015, 2017 and again this year, Casey voted to increase the H-2B guest worker totals. The H-2B is a nonagriculture, temporary visa designed for seasonal employers and is used in landscaping, the leisure industry and other businesses for jobs that American teens and college students historically sought out to earn college tuition money.
On border and interior enforcement, Casey has a poor record. In 2015, during the unprecedented Central American border surge, Casey voted against an amendment that called for the expedited removal of Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran aliens who are now, presumably, living in the U.S. interior and unlikely ever to go home. Casey also voted against fellow Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s bill to defund sanctuary cities, municipalities that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs officials, and instead release convicted criminal aliens back into local communities.
Compare Casey’s disappointing record on subverting American workers, leaving America’s border and interior vulnerable, and endorsing the release of violent criminal aliens to Barletta’s.
During the current Congress, Barletta voted four times to mandate E-Verify, the federal program that ensures every new employee is legally authorized to work in the U.S. Barletta cosponsored four bills, and voted in favor of two other bills, that would have defunded sanctuary cities.
Moreover, Barletta cosponsored legislation that would reduce amnesties, control border surges, end asylum fraud and close loopholes in asylum claims. Asylum fraud is a grave concern to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Importantly, after asylees win their case or 180 days pass without a decision, they automatically become work authorized.
As for which candidate is the tougher fighter, remember that in 2006, as Hazelton’s mayor, Barletta stood up to the ACLU and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense fund when they challenged his Illegal Immigration Relief Act that allowed the city to deny business permits to employers who hire illegal immigrants and gave the city authority to fine landlords up to $1,000 for renting to illegal immigrants.
A Federal District Court, and then a U.S. Appeals court, ruled against Barletta, shameless judicial activism run amok. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not take up the case, and Hazelton had to reimburse the ACLU $1.4 million, despite that aiding and abetting illegal immigrants - hiring and providing shelter to them - is a federal felony.
On November 6, American voters will decide whether to reward obstructionist, expansionist, ultra-liberals like Casey with another undeserved six years or send pro-U.S. worker, pro-American values candidates like Barletta to the U.S. Senate. The nation’s future hangs in the balance.
Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated, Pittsburgh-based columnist who has written about government for more than 30 years. Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.