Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steam

Despite passing what was considered to be one of the toughest immigration laws in the country just five years ago, the Georgia General Assembly just can’t seem to resist the urge to show just how tough it is on immigration.  Following last year’s Republican primary, which saw several candidates call for a “tough” anti-immigration law “like Arizona’s,” and one candidate even recommending setting up a “Guantanamo-style” prison for illegal aliens in the state, it was only a matter of time before the General Assembly this year took up such legislation. 

Currently, there are two competing immigration bills vying for attention under the Gold Dome. 

State Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) is sponsoring HB 87 – the “Illegal Immigration Reform Act” — which would require all employers in the state to ensure the status of prospective employees by using the federal E-Verify system; a program opponents of the bill have argued is plagued by questionable accuracy. HB 87 also requires counties and municipalities to ensure that new businesses entering into their jurisdiction are authorized to use E-Verify before a business license or occupational certificate can be issued. 

The bill also imposes escalating civil penalties and prison sentences for transporting, concealing or harboring illegal immigrants; and even proposes to make it a crime for someone to “encourage” an illegal immigrant to come to Georgia.  Any vehicle used to give an illegal alien a ride would be subject to forfeiture.  Importantly, and similar to Arizona’s 2010 law (which already has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court), HB 87 empowers police to detain someone if they suspect the person may be in the country unlawfully. 

If enacted, it is certain this legislation will face constitutional challenge in the courts.  In fact, recognizing the likelihood that some of the provisions now in his legislation would likely fall as a result of such challenges, Ramsey already has made numerous changes to his bill. 

In the upper chamber, Sen. Jack Murphy (R-Cumming) has introduced SB 40, a slightly less comprehensive bill that still requires businesses in Georgia to be E-Verify compliant. However, reflecting the reality that much of the tough-on-illegal-immigration debate is more about politics than principle,  Murphy’s bill carves out a huge exemption for the state’s agricultural community; an obvious attempt to appease the Georgia Farm Bureau, which announced its opposition to bills that would place a financial burden on farmers dependent on migrant workers. 

Politics aside, it is interesting to witness so many Republican legislators who profess allegiance to principles of federalism and more limited government police power, tripping over themselves to support legislation such as these immigration-based bills.  Greatly expanding the power of law state and local law enforcement to stop and detain people, premised on a power that resides with the federal, not state government to begin with, hardly fits traditional definitions of “conservative.”  When it comes to immigration, consistency is often not a component of the debate. 

Apparently the cost to taxpayers of measures such as HB 47 figures little in the debate as well.  Similar legislation introduced in Utah, for example, is estimated to cost taxpayers in that state upwards of $11 million dollars. 

With the Peach State facing a $1 billion-plus budget gap, pushing for an immigration law with a hefty price tag attached to it, and the constitutionality of which is demonstrably in doubt to begin with, would appear not to be a particularly wise use of our legislators’ time.  Perhaps they need to be reminded that immigration is a federal responsibility, and that the new folks in charge of the US House just might be more receptive to forcing Uncle Sam to do his job than the prior management.  Then again, that would be effort less likely to result in headlines back home.

 - by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

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[...] Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Following last year's Republican primary, which saw several candidates call for a “tough” anti-immigration law “like Arizona's,” and one candidate even …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostTexas considers Arizona-style immigration lawsMy West TexasImmigration reform hits snags in TallahasseeSun-SentinelTMCnet -The Maine Campus -Technoratiall 33 news articles » [...]

[...] Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Following last year's Republican primary, which saw several candidates call for a “tough” anti-immigration law “like Arizona's,” and one candidate even …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostTexas considers Arizona-style immigration lawsMy West TexasImmigration reform hits snags in TallahasseeSun-SentinelTMCnet -The Maine Campus -Technoratiall 33 news articles » [...]

Anne M

February 14th, 2011
6:15 am

Could Barr work the incorrect ‘anti-immigration’ label into his blog enough times? The correct and honest phrase is ‘anti-illegal immigration’,but that wouldn’t fit his amnesty agenda,would it? At least he didn’t use the oh-so-politically-correct ‘undocumented worker’ silliness.

Karl Marx

February 14th, 2011
6:24 am

Why not sue the Feds for damages. Heck it has always worked for Eco Nut jobs protecting a minnow why not us for a change.

Al Gore/Kilgore

February 14th, 2011
7:15 am

Long way to go for no fresh insight.

[...] Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Following last year's Republican primary, which saw several candidates call for a “tough” anti-immigration law “like Arizona's,” and one candidate even …Political columnist: The domino effect of diminishing rights, immigration laws …The Maine Campusall 40 news articles » [...]

[...] by a …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostAnti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Texas considers Arizona-style immigration lawsMy West [...]

BillyRob

February 14th, 2011
7:37 am

I don’t read Bob often. Now I remember why. It’s like watching paint dry.

[...] by a …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostAnti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Texas considers Arizona-style immigration lawsMy West [...]

jconservative

February 14th, 2011
8:04 am

We are discussing a bill that would require local law enforcement to hand over to federals those found to be in the state illegally. Sounds simple on the surface. But the federals have no jail room, so turn them loose if they pass a background criminal check.

All that gets accompolished is conversation.

Now if the legislature will pay for the cost of locking up illegals in locals jails, then they may be onto something.

the watchful eye

February 14th, 2011
8:21 am

There is a BIG price to pay for having illegal aliens in this country whether it is for picking peaches, grapes or whatever else needs picking. In Texas where the state comptroller estimates illegal immigration costs hospitals 1.3 billion in 2006. Texas medical branch in Galveston plans denying cancer health care to illegal aliens. Imagine illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. because the health care is better, what would that do to the Health Care System?

The SOLUTION; have the mega rich FARM COMMUNITY show proof they have every field workers covered with comprehensive medical insuance.

Now, violent crime, illegal immigrants comprise 25% of the federal prison population.
The commit 12% of the felonies, 25% of burglaries, 34% of thefts.

the solution; Have the mega rich FARM COMMUNITY, pay the proportionate share of crime committed by their workers to the total cost of incarceration of illegal immigarants in the prison system.

The solution rests with the far community that needs the cheap labor of illegal immigrants.

Carlosgvv

February 14th, 2011
8:36 am

If the Georgia General Assembly is really serious about this the first thing they should do is establish an independent blue-ribbon commission to find out who is responsible for all these illegals being in Georgia and recommend they face criminal charges. Then they should offer a solution for Georgia to deport as many of these illegals as possible. Finally, they should offer clear-cut ways to prevent this from ever happening again. You say no way this will ever happen. Oh, well, I can dream, can’t I?

jt

February 14th, 2011
8:47 am

Yea ,………..I’m with Anne M-

Mr. Barr does himself a disservice to the cause by headlining “anti-immigrant”.

Anyhoo, law abiding citizens should NOT have to jump through any hoops or comply with ANYMORE stupid laws just because the Federalies have failed to honor one of their FEW enumerated powers.(control the borders).

Be that as it may, I will hire whom I want to, and I will pay whatever we agree upon.And I will seal the deal upon a handshake.

You can keep your stupid E-verify(permission from the federal government to work) craaaaap.

[...] Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steam | The Barr Code [...]

Truth

February 14th, 2011
9:05 am

You will never deport 20 million people. If you think that you can obviously you are stupid. And on top of that when it cost $13,000.00 to deport one immigrant you Tea Party budget hawks should be screaming bloody murder to leave them alone. Furthermore, the more hateful your attitude toward these people becomes the more determined their 2nd and 3rd generation citizen children will be to exact their revenge on the folks that wanted to deport their mother and father. Politically this issue is a huge loser in the long run for you so called “conservatives”.

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:16 am

“And on top of that when it cost $13,000.00 to deport one ”

Which is still cheaper than Obozo’s health care plan.

“If you think that you can obviously you are stupid.”

Not as stupid as that lame sentence structure.

“Furthermore, the more hateful your attitude toward these people”

You know, I keep hearing you left wingers call everyone hateful for opposing something that is illegal yet I never hear a peep from you gals when illegals rape, steal and murder.

“Politically this issue is a huge loser in the long run for you so called “conservatives”.”

No, not when the majority of American’s want to stop the flow of illegals into this country.

If it’s a “losing” issue then why are more and more states signing on to Arizona’s illegal immigration bill signed by Brewer?

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:17 am

“Why not sue the Feds for damages. ”

They already are.

Arizona sues federal government over Mexico border

(Reuters) – Arizona filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Thursday, alleging that it had failed to provide security along the state’s porous border with Mexico.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/us-arizona-immigration-idUSTRE7197GY20110210

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:19 am

“Why not sue the Feds for damages.”

Arizona filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Thursday, alleging that it had failed to provide security along the state’s porous border with Mexico.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/us-arizona-immigration-idUSTRE7197GY20110210

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:19 am

“the first thing they should do is establish an independent blue-ribbon commission’

No need to waste tax dollars trying to figure out something that already exists.

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:20 am

“I don’t read Bob often. Now I remember why. It’s like watching paint dry.’

Oh, but you can write a lame comment about someone you don’t “read?”

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:21 am

I would gladly support allowing these illegals to stay here if we could deport every left winger in the country.

hsn

February 14th, 2011
9:28 am

Why are these ‘red’ states trying to create “patches” to immigration laws? Immigration laws are federal laws. AZ tried and it failed. When the same conservatives are telling us the state doesn’t have money, why squander tax dollars on a similar move in AZ that has been quashed?

E-Verify was passed by congress AS A VOLUNTARY TOOL, not a mandatory one. Any business being “FORCED” by the state can challenge the constitutionality of it being “MANDATORY.” If you want to make it mandatory, the sensible thing to do is go through congress.

Even if these immigration “patches” pass at the state level, they will likely not survive the barrage of justified and frivolous lawsuits that will follow them (even when thwy survive their odds of going into effect).

GA taxpayers, somebody is playing with your money!

hsn

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:33 am

“Immigration laws are federal laws.’

Which aren’t enforced. Hence, states suing the federal government.

“AZ tried and it failed. ‘

When did this happen?

“When the same conservatives are telling us the state doesn’t have money, why squander tax dollars on a similar move in AZ that has been quashed? ”

Did too much bong smoke fry what was left of your brain? Obozo sued Arizona for trying to protect itself.

“If you want to make it mandatory, the sensible thing to do is go through congress. ‘

LOLOL!!!!!!

“not survive the barrage of justified and frivolous lawsuits that will follow’

You totally contradicted yourself without even knowing it.

“GA taxpayers, somebody is playing with your money!’

Yeah, his name is Obama.

“hsn’

home shopping network?

Carlosgvv

February 14th, 2011
9:35 am

LA

My comments were for what should have been done long ago. What actually has been and will be done is something else entirely. In other words, look for a lot of hot air and very little action.

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:43 am

Carlosgvv

Yeah, but the people are demanding action now. Look at Arizona and how their governor took action only to be sued by Obama. More states are lining up to join Arizona as well. With the economy the way it is, many illegals are going to be forced to leave on their own.

Broken Obama promises

February 14th, 2011
9:46 am

Hey left wingers,
how does it feel to know that your cult leader will go down as the worst president ever?

Geithner Tells Obama Debt Expense to Increase to Record

Barack Obama may lose the advantage of low borrowing costs as the U.S. Treasury Department says what it pays to service the national debt is poised to triple amid record budget deficits.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-14/geithner-quietly-tells-obama-debt-to-gnp-cost-poised-to-increase-to-record.html

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lovelyliz

February 14th, 2011
9:51 am

WalMart bears more responsibility for the low wage job market than do immigrants

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:53 am

“WalMart bears more responsibility for the low wage job market than do immigrants”

You don’t understand economics do you. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you never took Econ 101. Am I right or am I right.

Rebecca

February 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Why not reform immigration and close our borders?Until then, this is a huge waste of my taxes. I do not mind them being her at all. In fact the culture is quite enjoyable. Good luck arresting me for my thoughts

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:55 am

lovelyliz

Who makes creates laws, Walmart or government?

LA

February 14th, 2011
9:56 am

“Good luck arresting me for my thoughts”

Careful what you say. Someone might be watching and monitoring your IP address.

Finn McCool

February 14th, 2011
10:04 am

Murphy’s bill carves out a huge exemption for the state’s agricultural community; an obvious attempt to appease the Georgia Farm Bureau

Useless legislation.

[...] by on February 14, 2011 Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box Despite passing what was considered to be one of the toughest immigration laws in the country just five years ago, the Georgia General Assembly just can’t. Read the original post: Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steam | The Barr Code [...]

hsn

February 14th, 2011
10:18 am

LA – You can deride people who you disagree with all you want, but state-level immigration “patches” to federal laws are NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Immigration laws are federal laws.

No amount of essays or law suits by the states will change THAT FACT. Good luck!

hsn

DawgDad

February 14th, 2011
10:20 am

I don’t think I could possibly disagree with you more. Try reading the PREAMBLE to the US Constitution in context of illegal immigration. It’s very conservative to take the Constitutio seriously. Yes, these are State laws, but they are needed (1) to supplement Federal Law, in the case of mandating E-Verify, and (2) because the Feds consider you and me boarding a plane on a business trip or vaction to be more of a threat to national security than illegal immigrants.

Our corrupt Federal government has been bought off to turn the other cheek to illegal immigration. They are not fairly representing the working and taxpaying citizens of this country.

I’ve seen E-Verify work, when used. I’ve seen the tangled mess of paperwork a business has to deal with to hire people, and I’ve seen first hand how the system is gamed to get illegal immigrants on the payroll. I’ve processed penalty withholdings and hundreds of 1099’s for unverified workers, and seen all those 1099s returned as undeliverable. The current state of affairs is DISGUSTING at face value and a huge factor in why people don’t trust our government.

LA

February 14th, 2011
10:25 am

“You can deride people who you disagree with all you want, but state-level immigration “patches” to federal laws are NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Immigration laws are federal laws. ”

The federal government isn’t enforcing it’s own laws which prompts states to fend for themselves. Make sense?

“No amount of essays or law suits by the states will change THAT FACT. Good luck!”

Remember, it was Obozo who first decided to sue Arizona over protecting it’s borders. THAT is a fact.

Good luck getting your cult leader re-elected next year. No amount of feel good speeches will get that disaster re-elected.

[...] Anti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steam | The Barr Code [...]

Bubba

February 14th, 2011
10:33 am

Immigration reform is the new racism, “let’s” pick on people who can’t fight back”, just look at US history in the 50’s, 80’s, and now. It’s easy to blame someone else for your problems when they can’t respond out of fear.

What’s missing in all the rhetoric are actual numbers supporting the accusations the anti-immigrant lobby throws around, including the politicians who pander for votes. What are the actual costs for housing illegal immigrants in our jails, what are the actual costs for health care, schools, etc? You never see any facts to back up these often repeated sound bites.

There’s a lot of short-sightedness. Take the “no school or scholarships for illegals” bandwagon. Ok, so we save a little money today keeping a high achieving immigrant from getting a scholarship, instead funding a C- student who’ll drop out of college in 2 years anyway. Which one will contribute the most to our economy in 10 or 20 years?

Let’s kick out the bright immigrant scholars so they’ll create jobs and business in their home countries and we can outsource more jobs to other countries in the future!

joe

February 14th, 2011
10:33 am

As if we needed more incentive to have our state legislators pass some tough version of an anti illegal immigration bill, look no further than the 2 illegals who are accused of killing 2 young children (and stabbed a 3rd who is in critical condition) in gwinnett county over the weekend. Both are here illegally as reported by WSB. We need tough laws to rid our country of gun wheeling, knife using, drug running thugs who don’t give a damn about our way of life…and are bringing there way of life to our soil ILLEGALLY.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 14th, 2011
10:41 am

For me the anti-illegal-immigrant legislation is a worthless sentiment. I could not care less if 20 million move to Georgia, so long as they want to work and are willing to learn English.

LA

February 14th, 2011
10:42 am

“Immigration reform is the new racism”

Yet there’s no evidence of that claim. No hosing down Mexican’s in the streets, no hangings etc…

Next……

LA

February 14th, 2011
10:43 am

“I could not care less if 20 million move to Georgia, so long as they want to work and are willing to learn English.”

Tell that to the ones that come here legally and learn our history. Tell that to the ones to did it the right way.

LA

February 14th, 2011
10:44 am

“It’s easy to blame someone else for your problems when they can’t respond out of fear.

HUH? Last time I checked, they had Univision, La Raza and many other media outlets.

ronald

February 14th, 2011
10:51 am

Bob- I’m very disappointed to hear your views on this subject. As you well know, the federal gov’t does NOTHING to prevent illegals from taking up space in our hospital emergency rooms (at Ga taxpayers expense). Children of illegals clog up our school systems with non-English speaking children (which places additional financial burdens on local school systems). And what about the real cost of illegals- Look no further than drug-infested Gwinnet County.

And you suggest just sitting back and waiting for the US House to fix it?? Thats silly, Bob. You and I both know they will do nothing.

I fully support Matt Ramsey’s plan. We also need to get rid of “fake” conservatives like Saxby Chambliss who will ultimately stand in the way of real progress of ridding our state of illegals.

killerj

February 14th, 2011
10:55 am

“No one has to pay their taxes only if you want to”!…..can,t have it both ways Bob,if they don,t,I don,t. Go Tea Party.

ronald

February 14th, 2011
11:11 am

The true fiscal conservative GOP in this state doesn’t want illegals (of any kind) in Georgia.

South Georgia farmers can go back to the Democratic party if they want to. The farmers are selling their soul to the devil if they want loose immigration laws to finance their ag business models. I saw SCREW EM….

Carlosgvv

February 14th, 2011
11:14 am

LA

It is true the people are demanding action now. It’s also true that greedy corporations and bleeding-heart liberals are demanding the illegals stay. So, how do you see this turning out?
a

LA

February 14th, 2011
11:26 am

“So, how do you see this turning out?”

Enough people are demanding that states enact laws like Arizona did. People are sick of the fed not enforcing it’s own laws.

Democrats want illegals here because they want new votes. They’ve lost the independents etc. If you look at where voters are trending, women are leaning more towards the GOP now. White men have totally been alienated by the Dems and left a long time ago. Blacks will mostly vote Dem but there has been a trend of some of them leaving. With more and more black conservatives on the rise, you will see blacks look at them closely.

Republicans, the Mccain type that is, want illegals here because they provide cheap labor.

With the economy the way it is, illegals are going to leave because of lack of jobs.

The main reason I am sick of it is because they don’t pay income taxes and are a drain on the system financially. I have no problem with people coming here to work because their own country is terrible. If you look at the health care system, illegals flood ER’s and drive up costs at taxpayer expense.

LA

February 14th, 2011
11:30 am

“It’s also true that greedy corporations and bleeding-heart liberals are demanding the illegals stay. ”

The reason corporations want them to stay is because of unions/taxes driving up costs all over the US. Jobs left years ago because of NAFTA. A lot of companies are heading to the south because it’s cheaper to operate and the south is business friendly. Also, unions don’t have a huge presence like they do in the north and midwest. Just look at Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Unions and high taxes ran companies out of the state.

Libs just want chaos. I mean, the ones I’ve spoken with don’t really have an answer as to why they want illegals here other than to cause confusion and mess up the system. Just look at some of Cynthia Tuckers copy and paste columns and you’ll see where she never offers any solution to any problem.