Louis Barletta

Louis Barletta

PENNSYLVANIA's 11th DISTRICT

Barletta: Obama Administration Misled Congress on Release of Criminal Illegal Immigrants

2014/10/24

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding news reports that the Obama Administration directly misled Congress and the general public about the criminal backgrounds of 2,200 illegal immigrants released from detention last year.  USA Today has reported that despite assurances otherwise from the administration, many of the released criminals had faced serious charges, including homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. Administration officials repeatedly asserted that those released were non-violent, and in one email obtained by USA Today plainly stated, “The detainees who’ve been released can be characterized as non-criminals and other low risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories that would subject them to mandatory detention.  Detainees with serious criminal histories are a detention priority and have not been released.”  That statement is demonstrably false, according to USA Today’s report. In May, Barletta expressed concern about the mass release of 36,000 illegal immigrants, which included the 2,200 in question, by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).  Those included 116 who had been convicted of homicide, 43 who were convicted of voluntary manslaughter, and one who was convicted of a crime classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.” Barletta has been critical of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, under which illegal immigrants are not deported if they claim to have entered the U.S. under the age of 16, have been present for five years, and are 30 years old or younger, among other qualifications.  The Congressman also has highlighted his concerns about the president’s plans to grant sweeping amnesty after November’s elections without Congressional approval.    Barletta’s statement is as follows: “There can be no rational excuse for the complete disregard for public safety displayed by the release of these violent offenders, who were already in custody and already had violated our immigration laws.  To release dangerous criminals, and then deny having done so, either indicates incomprehensible incompetence or willful dishonesty. “This is yet another example of the president’s contempt for our immigration laws and public safety.  His DACA program is an end-run around Congress to grant amnesty, as is his recently-unmasked plan to grant legal status to 34 million more illegal immigrants.  His actions indicate that he cares little for the security of our borders, and who is and who is not legally present. “As the citizens of the United States worry about the Ebola virus crossing oceans, terrorists setting their sights on our homeland, and jobs being occupied by millions of newly-legalized residents, the president continues to hold the door open for further abuse of our laws.  His entire record on immigration issues amounts to a massive national security risk.  This latest news about the release of criminal detainees leaves me severely disappointed, but sadly, not surprised.” Read More

Barletta Reiterates Call for Ebola Travel Ban

2014/10/24

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today reiterated his call for President Obama to immediately suspend travel from nations affected by the Ebola virus, particularly in light of news of a New York City doctor testing positive for the disease.  Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned from his work with “Doctors without Borders” in Guinea on October 17th, has become the fourth case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States.  Barletta also repeated his belief that Americans returning home from affected countries should remain quarantined for at least 21 days, a period of time believed to be the incubation period for the Ebola virus.   Barletta’s statement is as follows: “In recent public comments, President Obama has indicated that he is not necessarily opposed to a travel ban to protect this country from inbound Ebola carriers from affected nations.  Now that he has his ‘Ebola Czar’ in place, I think it is well past the time to take greater steps to reduce the risks of the disease being spread to the United States. “We have heard many times that health officials are monitoring people they suspect may have been exposed to Ebola, but so far they have not shown the ability to adequately do so.  A health worker from Dallas was permitted to fly to Cleveland and return, even though she had reported a slight fever.  In this most recent case, a doctor who was known to be working with Ebola patients abroad was largely left to his own devices until he began to exhibit symptoms.  Such haphazard guarding of public safety is not acceptable. “President Obama should stop commercial flights from carrying passengers who originate in the countries in question, and also enact 21-day quarantines for Americans returning home.  Medical professionals and supplies would still be able to reach those countries, provided the appropriate protections were in place here at home.  These are common sense actions we should take to control the spread of Ebola, while medical protocols are perfected and hospital staffs are trained.”   Read More

Barletta Statement on Obama Preparation for Executive Action on Illegal Immigration

2014/10/23

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding President Obama’s preparations for post-election executive action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants already present in this country.  The Washington Post, among other news outlets, has reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has ordered card stock for making work permits and Permanent Resident Cards, meaning “at least 5 million cards a year, with as many as 9 million ‘during the initial period.’”  A draft contract proposal from USCIS calls for as many as 34 million cards over a five-year period. The apparent amnesty plans are in addition to the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, under which illegal immigrants are not deported if they claim to have been brought to the U.S. under the age of 16, have been present for five years, and are 30 years old or younger, among other qualifications.    Barletta’s statement is as follows: “The president has all but admitted that he cannot issue his executive orders on illegal immigration before the election because he knows how widely unpopular it would be.  This revelation is proof that the groundwork is already being laid to grant amnesty post-election to millions upon millions of people who have broken our laws to enter this country.  The administration already has exceeded its authority to manipulate our immigration laws, and it is jarring to see the sheer scale of his future plans to do more. “Adding millions more to the workforce will only make it more difficult for Americans and legal residents to find jobs, and it is an affront to those who studiously followed our immigration laws in the first place.  We already know that the president’s DACA program has caused long delays for people who are trying to enter the country lawfully, and this massive infusion of more amnesty cases will only make matters worse. “We have been reminded repeatedly of national security risks posed by the surge of illegal immigrants at our southern border, continued pledges by terrorists to attack us here at home, and deadly biological threats from abroad.  Now is the worst time to contemplate rewarding illegal behavior with seemingly blanket amnesty.   “We have immigration laws for two primary reasons: to protect the safety of Americans, and to protect American jobs.  The president’s covert actions to prepare for tens of millions of amnesty cases undermine both of those principles.”   Read More

Special Update: Calling on the President to Take Action on Ebola Today

2014/10/20

The current Ebola outbreak originated this past March in Guinea, and, with over 3,400 reported deaths, is the largest outbreak ever documented.  On October 8, the first patient with Ebola in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national visiting family, passed away at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.  Since that time, two of the health care workers who treated Mr. Duncan have contracted the virus, despite oversight and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more possible cases are being evaluated.  Ironically, it was just days ago that the CDC promised to stop this disease in its track. Americans have no confidence that the government can accurately identify and track passengers who may have been exposed to Ebola, especially since the CDC has demonstrated that it cannot adequately control the movements of the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Read More Read More

Barletta Statement on Obama Ebola “Czar”

2014/10/17

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today issued a statement regarding President Obama’s appointment of Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to coordinate the administration’s response to the Ebola crisis.  Klain will reportedly answer to White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  In light of the handling of the situation by the administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Barletta also reiterated the call he made Wednesday for the president to enforce a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.  Barletta said the ban should be imposed immediately and last until health officials have a better grasp of the situation inside the United States and in the West African nations where the disease has become widespread.  The Congressman said American citizens who wish to return home from such countries should be allowed to do so, but may have to be screened through a quarantine system upon reentry.  He also called for better and more complete training for medical and security personnel at all points of entry. Barletta’s statement is as follows: “We all want the same thing, which is to keep Americans safe from the spread of the Ebola virus.  I am not convinced, however, that the appointment of another bureaucrat, in the form of a partisan staffer who is not a medical professional, is the answer to the administration’s credibility problem.  Conflicting statements and overbroad promises coming from the White House and the CDC have left Americans wondering what they can believe.  We should be careful about adding layers to the government apparatus that separates the president from medical experts necessary to craft an effective response. “I renew my call for a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing outbreak.  Americans have no confidence that the government can accurately identify and track passengers who may have been exposed to Ebola, especially since the CDC has demonstrated that it cannot adequately control the movements of the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. “More than two dozen African nations have already enforced restrictions or bans on travel involving those countries, and I find arguments that the United States should not follow suit to be illogical and unconvincing.  Medical supplies and personnel may still enter the affected nations, and if needed, the United States military could handle transport of people and material where necessary.  American citizens wishing to return home from those countries can certainly do so, but may have to pass through quarantine before being cleared.  “If the president can suspend air travel to and from Israel, as he did in July, then he can certainly do this.  The most basic responsibility of our government is to protect our citizens from harm, and I certainly believe Ebola represents a threat.  We must act in every way possible to stop it from spreading further.” Read More

Barletta Calls for Travel Ban from Ebola-Stricken Nations

2014/10/15

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today called on the Obama Administration to enforce a ban on inbound travelers originating in countries affected by the growing Ebola outbreak.  Barletta said the ban should be imposed immediately and last until health officials have a better grasp of the situation inside the United States and in the West African nations where the disease has become widespread.  The Congressman said American citizens who wish to return home from such countries should be allowed to do so, but may have to be screened through a quarantine system upon reentry.  He also called for better and more complete training for medical and security personnel at all points of entry. As Barletta released his statement, a second health care worker in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola.  The two medical employees in Dallas were infected after having treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient to die in the U.S., after he traveled to this country from Liberia. Barletta’s statement is as follows: “The most basic responsibility of our government is to protect our citizens.  I look at it like this: when my four daughters were younger, if my wife and I knew that one of their friends had the flu, we wouldn’t let the sick child into our house.  With something as serious as Ebola, I see no reason why we wouldn’t take even stronger precautions.  We are faced with the growing threat of a disease, for which there is no known reliable cure, and we know where it’s coming from.  Why would we not act in every way possible to stop it from reaching us?  “Unless we take the basic step of controlling access to this country, we are inviting trouble by simply asking travelers how they feel and taking their temperature.  Until the American and international medical communities are fully engaged and prepared to fight the spread of Ebola, I do not believe it is wise to continue to allow unfettered travel between affected countries and the United States.     “I have no doubt that the medical professionals risking their lives to fight Ebola on the front lines in Dallas are doing everything in their power to save their patients and protect all Americans.  The experts at the Centers for Disease Control are also hard at work, and I am pleased that we were able to fund their efforts even above the president’s most recent request.  However, the daily news reports leave the clear impression that the people on the ground are battling an unfamiliar enemy and developing new tactics as they move along.  More certainty is required, which means blocking the way to easy entry by those who may already be infected. “To me it seems illogical to argue that stopping passengers from entering the United States makes it more difficult to contain the disease in Africa.  Medical supplies and personnel may still enter the affected nations, and if needed, the United States military could handle transport of people and material where necessary.  American citizens wishing to return home from those countries can certainly do so, but may have to pass through quarantine before being cleared.  “Importantly, a travel ban to protect Americans has very recent precedent.  Just in July, President Obama placed a temporary ban on travel to and from Israel after a Hamas rocket exploded near Tel Aviv’s airport.  The president has it within his power, and indeed his job description, to protect the United States with a similar order today.” Read More

Barletta Receives Award for Defending Manufacturers

2014/10/09

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, has been recognized as a leading member of Congress who supports policies that enhance the abilities of small and large manufacturers to succeed in the global economy.  Barletta has been honored with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Award for Legislative Excellence, based on his voting record on supporting manufacturing issues in the 113th Congress. “Manufacturers in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States are making a comeback, creating jobs, making more products, and making them better than ever before,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. “However, manufacturers are often disproportionately impacted by decisions made by policymakers in Washington. The NAM is proud to stand with lawmakers like Lou Barletta who understand what is at stake and seek to implement policies that will foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness.” “In my part of Pennsylvania, hard work is a virtue,” Barletta said.  “Manufacturing is a bedrock industry in our country and helped make the United States a world leader.  I am proud to stand for policies that promote jobs, productivity, and prosperity.” The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector in all 50 states.  Manufacturing employs more than 12 million people, contributes $2.08 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector, and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development.  Read More

Barletta Bulletin 10.5.14

2014/10/06

Protecting our Nation Against the Rise of the Islamic State As a nation, we have faced many threats to our national security since our founding over 238 years ago.  But the danger presented by the Islamic State may be unique in its hostility, raw hatred, and dedication to eliminating the United States from existence.  They will attack at will, without provocation, and without regard for the lives of any innocent people who stand in their way.  In fact, the more innocent the lives they take, the better – for their purposes. I am pleased that President Obama has finally acknowledged the threat the Islamic State presents to our national security.  Not content with wreaking havoc in their own corner of the Middle East, these terrorists have conquered territory, beheaded innocent Americans, forged allegiances with al Qaeda, threatened to strike us at home, and pledged to raise their flag over the White House.  They are a muscular and growing menace that must be dispatched. Read More Read More

Barletta Praises FEMA Ruling in Favor of Property Owners

2014/09/26

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today praised a ruling by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that allows eight properties, including five in Wyoming County, to proceed with buyouts resulting from damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.  In June, Barletta and Rep. Bill Shuster, PA-9, asked FEMA to rescind its policy that unilaterally banned FEMA mitigation buyouts of homes that have suffered severe repeated flooding that also have subsurface leases for natural gas development.  In August, Barletta held a roundtable with FEMA representatives and other interested parties in Tunkhannock to discuss the issue and elicited a promise from FEMA to reexamine the policy and work to provide immediate answers to local officials in Wyoming County.  Today, FEMA notified the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency that it will not apply the policy retroactively for any approved projects that have already reached the point of obligation.                                                                                                        “This is tremendous news for property owners who only wanted to be able to exercise their rights to use their land as they intended,” Barletta said.  “I am pleased that FEMA has made this decision, however I still believe the entire policy should be reversed so that all property owners will have similar freedom moving forward.”    In the June letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Barletta and Shuster expressed concern that the policy hurts property owners who only want to relinquish surface rights while maintaining subsurface rights.  They also pointed out that the change was implemented without input from state and local governments, or other stakeholders, and asked that the policy be rescinded until that takes place.  Shuster is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, while Barletta chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management.  Barletta’s subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over FEMA.  FEMA frequently uses funds to purchase land for mitigation purposes, intending to create open space to prevent future structure damage from natural disasters.  Barletta and Shuster argued that the new FEMA policy is contrary to the goals of mitigation.   “In my part of Pennsylvania, I understand fully how important it is to mitigate damage from natural disasters like what Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee inflicted on us in 2011,” Barletta said.  “However, this new policy may bring to a halt the sale of properties under the mitigation program.  Federal agencies always seem to fire off new policies first without stopping to consider the practical implications of those policies.  It’s always better to get answers to questions before imposing rules blindly.” Read More

Barletta Urges Citizens to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

2014/09/24

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today urged residents of Pennsylvania’s 11th District to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs by participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014.  Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the program is designed to remove surplus medication from circulation and prevent its abuse.  In previous years, the program has resulted in nearly 500 tons of prescription drugs being collected nationally. “Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Barletta said.  “We should do everything we can to remove old, unwanted drugs from medicine cabinets to protect children and prevent abuse by others.” From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, police departments, shopping centers, and other locations are participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  To find a nearby location, residents can call (800) 882-9539 or visit the DEA’s website within the Department of Justice by clicking here. Read More

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Contact Information

115 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6511
Fax 202-225-0764
barletta.house.gov

Representative Louis J. Barletta proudly represents his hometown of Hazleton and the people of Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. He began his second term on January 3, 2013.

Representative Barletta was first sworn in on January 5, 2011. He immediately started serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which plays a critical role in the economic development of and job growth in Northeastern and South Central Pennsylvania, and the Education and Workforce Committee, which focuses on how our nation can improve its educational system so we have competitive, qualified workers in the future.

He remains on these committees during his second term in office.  Additionally, Rep. Barletta was appointed Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Also for his second term, Rep. Barletta was assigned to the Committee on Homeland Security, which was established in 2002 to provide congressional oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack. The committee has jurisdiction over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), and the U.S. Coast Guard; border security programs including efforts to achieve operational control of the border; and border smuggling and trafficking of drugs, humans, currency, weapons and other illicit materials. The committee also has jurisdiction over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), counterterrorism efforts, cybersecurity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport security, and more.

Illegal immigration is a very important subject for Representative Barletta, who first tackled the problem when he was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Lou Barletta was the first mayor in the country to introduce and sign into law local ordinances cracking down against businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens. He has since become a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration.

During his first term in Congress, Representative Barletta formed the 112th Class Immigration Reform Caucus, which brings together members of the historic 2011-12 “freshmen” class. Representative Barletta chairs this caucus as it examines solutions to the country’s illegal immigration problems.

Also during his first term, Representative Barletta used his position on the Small Business Committee to fight to reduce the interest rate charged on certain Small Business Administration disaster recovery loans after massive flooding devastated the 11th District in September 2011.

Born and raised in Hazleton, Representative Barletta majored in elementary education as a student at Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University). He left school to try out for a Major League Baseball team, but was released when the team’s management discovered he couldn’t hit a curve ball.

After he returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania, he and his wife Mary Grace started a business together. For $29.95, the Barlettas formed a line-painting business. Through hard work and perseverance, they grew that business into the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within five years. They eventually grew it to be the sixth-largest business of its kind in the entire nation.

As a small business owner, Representative Barletta saw how government regulation and taxes could affect the bottom line. Even though he had very little interest in politics, he decided to run for a slot on Hazleton City Council. He was first elected to council in 1998, then was elected mayor in 2000.

Despite inheriting a massive budget shortfall, he was able to turn around the City of Hazleton with tough, fiscally responsible decisions. This turnaround earned statewide praise and recognition.

In addition, his leadership on the issue of illegal immigration in Hazleton garnered national attention. By ever-increasing margins of victory, Representative Barletta was elected mayor three times.

In September 2004, Representative Barletta was appointed by the White House to serve on the United Nation Advisory Committee of Local Authorities as the representative of the United States of America.

In November 2010, Representative Barletta was elected to Congress on his third attempt. He was re-elected in November 2012.

Lou and Mary Grace are the parents of four daughters: Kelly, April, Lindsey, and Grace. They also have one grandson, Gabriel Louis; and one granddaughter, Madeleine Grace.


Serving With

Mike Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson

PENNSYLVANIA's 5th DISTRICT

Jim Gerlach

PENNSYLVANIA's 6th DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan

PENNSYLVANIA's 7th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Bill Shuster

PENNSYLVANIA's 9th DISTRICT

Tom Marino

PENNSYLVANIA's 10th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts

PENNSYLVANIA's 16th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy

PENNSYLVANIA's 18th DISTRICT

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