October 12, 2016

A CANDIDACY BUILT ON HATE:

In City Built by Immigrants, Immigration Is the Defining Political Issue (BINYAMIN APPELBAUM, OCT. 12, 2016, The New York Times

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Thousands of Dominicans have poured into this little city in eastern Pennsylvania since 2001 to work in the food plants and warehouses on the edge of town, where the highway to New York meets the highway to Philadelphia.

Hazleton's population is growing for the first time in more than half a century. Landlords, doctors and shopkeepers are learning to love their new customers.

But the city's economic evolution has left behind its previous, non-Hispanic working class, and the presidential election has crystallized its frustrations. Many of those losing ground economically, including lifelong Democrats, say they plan to vote for Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee. Many of those who are prospering, including lifelong Republicans, say they will vote for the Democrat, Hillary Clinton.

For both sides, how to deal with immigration has become a defining political issue, one that is likely to transcend the contretemps over Mr. Trump's treatment of women that has cost him so much support among elected Republicans. This city was built by European immigrants who flocked here a century ago to work in the coal mines. Their children found better jobs in the factories. Now their grandchildren are struggling against economic decline and cultural displacement.

"I don't care for this town no more because of the Hispanics," said Lewis Beishline, 70, as he sat drinking at 11 a.m. on a Friday at Cusat's Cafe, a bar owned by the mayor of Hazleton, who lives upstairs. Mr. Beishline, a retired welder, said he moved from Hazleton to a nearby town last year because he no longer felt safe.

He plans to vote for Mr. Trump, he said, "because of the immigration."

This election offers the perfect test of the Right's demand that the GOP engage in anti-immigrant politics.
Posted by at October 12, 2016 6:33 PM

  

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