Bridgeport, PA

Good article in the Philly Inquirer today on the lasting effects of the anti-immigrant measures passed in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. As is made clear in the article, these anti-immigrant ordinances end up significantly hurting legal immigrants as well.

An interesting excerpt:

Of 100 communities that have introduced laws targeting illegal immigrants, a third are in Pennsylvania, according to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, an immigrant-rights group in Washington.

Analysts say they do not believe that means the commonwealth is more bigoted than other states. Ethnic tensions play a part, they say, but there are many other factors.

They include the copycat effect from the publicity about Hazleton, and competition for low-wage jobs in economically depressed small towns. There is also the state’s colonial legacy of small towns. With more than 1,064 incorporated municipalities, there are simply more local officials in Pennsylvania wielding the whereas and thereby than in states like New Jersey, which has only 566.

Anyone else want to speculate why so many of these initiatives are in Pennsylvania? Are we, as a whole, more bigoted than other states? Is PA especially homogeneous, at least in certain parts? The large number of municipalities might play an interesting role–I suppose this is the flip side of increased local governance.

Lisa in Pittsburgh