Dear Editor:

Thanks for the opportunity to respond to two "Letters From Our Readers" that appeared in your Saturday, October 30th edition.

One was penned by Bill Mackey who ran against Dave Argall twice and me in last year's special election. The original version of House Bill 400 passed the House on May 5, 2009 (before I was a Member). In the Senate three references to illegal immigration were removed from the bill before it was returned to the House for a vote. The final version had to do with misclassification of independent contractors, not illegal immigration, and I joined with the PA Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business and opposed the version sent back to the House.

Mr. Mackey should know that I agree that illegal is illegal. That's why I voted for HB 1502, HB 1503, and HB 2479 which all crack down on illegal immigration. In fact, HB 2479 is a bill modeled after the recently enacted Arizona law that requires law enforcement to verify immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally and has already been stopped for another violation.

To L.J. Dubesky, a known supporter of my opponent, I would remind him that as a result of strong opposition by me and many others, the township supervisors were notified that the sewer sludge dumping project was pulled. You have my word that I am opposed to that project now and well into the future! I will do everything in my power to continue this fight to keep the Harrisburg sewer sludge out of Schuylkill Township. If I had done nothing, Mr. Dubesky would be criticizing me for that.

Sincerely,

Rep. Jerry Knowles

Tamaqua