Pennsylvania lawmaker endorses Trump

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Rep. Lou BarlettaLou BarlettaSigns of change from Trump Poor polling highlights Trump challenges in swing states Trump aims to win over GOP with Pence pick MORE (R-Pa.) on Tuesday became the eighth GOP lawmaker to endorse Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFeehery: Political purgatory Indiana Senate race tightens as Republicans take on Bayh Trump and Clinton voice biartisan support to protect children online MORE for president. 

Barletta, an immigration hard-liner, said he sympathized with Trump's views on the issue. 

As mayor of Hazelton, Pa., before coming to Congress, Barletta pushed an effort to penalize employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants, as well as landlords who provided housing to them.

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The controversy over Barletta's policies went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2011 that states have the right to implement their own statutes to curb illegal immigration. 

"Donald Trump was criticized, the same way I was criticized, when he addressed this important issue. I hope that together we can tackle this critical national security challenge and stand up for working Americans," Barletta said in a statement.

Barletta, who was elected to the House in 2010, previously endorsed former Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) presidential candidacy. 

He called on fellow Republicans Tuesday to get behind the front-runner for his party's presidential nomination. 

“As I have said before, I am discouraged that certain members of the Republican Party have spent more time trying to figure out how to stop Donald Trump than they have trying to understand why he is so popular in the first place. Voters are smart. We need to listen to the voters instead of elitists trying to tell us right from wrong," Barletta said. 

Seven other GOP lawmakers have said they will support Trump: Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president GOP senators want immigration details on attack suspects GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (Ala.) and Reps. Chris Collins (N.Y.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), Tom Marino (Pa.) and Tom Reed (N.Y.).