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

147 comments Add your comment

Vickie

February 14th, 2011
11:51 am

How anyone can justify the outrage and abuse being perpetuated on the American taxpayers by those who insist on telling this country what we can do for them is totally beyond me. Political correctness has crossed the line into some form of insanity.

ronald

February 14th, 2011
12:15 pm

I see the Georgia Tea Party funding a campaign to oust Saxby Chambliss and the other fake GOP members in the near future.

Saxby- If you’re reading this, beware of standing in the way of immigration reform. It will come back to bite you…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cary D Conover, AALAC. AALAC said: GA GOP want to expand gov't power with anti-immigration laws, at odds with principles of federalism: http://tinyurl.com/4bdwm8u [...]

Brittanicus

February 14th, 2011
12:35 pm

States are frustrated with the federal government, for a failure to halt the unceasing movement of foreign nationals across the border or entering America through airline terminals. So States are taken it upon themselves, to halt this pandemic of cheap labor with their families, who think it a right that they can not only take jobs from lower income American workers, but also raid the social welfare safety net. The Great immigration War began in the hard hit border State of Arizona, who are already harassed by their own administration, but also the radical open border nuts. Except now the illegal immigrant problem is spreading and not confined to the Border States anymore. Each State resident are speaking out and demanding Legislative bills, to reduce the infestation. With Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida and others either enacting restraining immigration bills or mauling over ways to combat the invasion, the outward bound movement of illegal immigrants is beginning to highlight itself.

Unable to sustain the support of social services for foreign nationals anymore, laws have been introduced in State Capitols. This is causing uproar amongst Liberal progressives and the radical assemblies but losing in their agenda of “Political Correctness.” The great outcome is that interior State lawmakers are recognizing the powerful punch of E-Verify enforcement for Businesses that before could easily exploit foreign workers, but now are more than likely to be fined; with incurable offenders being sentenced to prison. The policing laws 287 G have been enable officers to question any person on the immigration status and a strong deterrent and gaining more acceptance. We have all heard from the Liberal parrots about the mass exodus from Arizona as illegal foreign nationals evacuating the Canyon state. But I see this as a nationwide forecast as hundreds of thousands more driven by fear of discovery, pack their vehicles and head for more comfortable less enforced locations environments such as the Sanctuary State of California, Nevada, Utah and more flexible states.

This immigration travesty has been a dangerous dilemma for California and associated States as it’s already hemorrhaging profusely from public entitlement programs with the extreme left Sacramento lawmakers freely giving out welfare benefits. This is not just the legacy of California, but Nevada, Utah, Colorado of any number of States who are now suffering from the influx of freeloaders with the billions of dollars spent keep rising. Join the pro-sovereignty organization such as NumbersUSA who allows free faxes to your lawmakers. Above all else place a call with the federal switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your Senate or Representative and speak your mind. Americans must order E-Verify mandated worker authentication system compliant with the I-9 form nationwide, with no exemptions. Learn much more about illegal immigration costs, corruption and overpopulation future by reading in pdf format, “The Ethics of immigration” http://tinyurl.com/4jx624l and in addition the “The fiscal burden of illegal Immigration on taxpayers” at http://tinyurl.com/34klfgd
Remember that Farmers or other Agricultural entities, don’t pay for the Health, Care, Education, or anything else.
THE US TAXPAYER DOES.

No Copyright. Distribute freely.

DawgDad

February 14th, 2011
1:07 pm

Bubba, your generalization casting me and others of my ilk as racist is a total non-starter. I am offended by your rhetoric; it is sophomoric. You know not of what you speak.

What about the profiteers and labor racketeers who support illegal immigration and the exploitation of the illegals for nothing more than their own personal benefit? You have nothing to say about THEM in terms of being “racist”, yet you throw that loaded term around at people who look at this corrupt system and say “ENOUGH ALREADY”. None of this has anything to do with racism; the profiteers and labor racketeers will exploit anybody they can and the anti-illegal-immigration crowd just wants all this nonsense to stop.

Shame on you.

LA

February 14th, 2011
1:19 pm

DawgDad

It’s all these guys/gals have left. When the left can’t argue facts, they name call and label their opponents. Consider the battle won when they resort to calling you/I a racist.

Supreme Being

February 14th, 2011
1:39 pm

I suppose there is a positive side to the President’s lame economic policies and theories, the lack of jobs is going to drive a lot of illegals back to where they came from.

LA

February 14th, 2011
1:40 pm

Gotta love it when left wingers try to explain the current debt as Bush’s fault.

Debt now equals total U.S. economy

President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equalling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years’ time.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/14/debt-now-equals-total-us-economy/

LA

February 14th, 2011
1:41 pm

Supreme Being

You and I are on the same page!

Nope, not this time

February 14th, 2011
1:44 pm

They come to this country and the first thing they do is spit out a kid. That allows them welfare, medicaid, free schooling and food stamps. They dont pay taxes and they dont spend a lot of money in the general community. They spend their money at other illegals shops and stores and tall that money goes back to the families in Mexico.

So while the farmers are crying out loud that they cant get someone to pick their crops at 9.15 per hour (and I know a lot of people out of work that would work for that) they are causing our economy to spend billions in social services and medical as well as draining our education sytems. They have put our local construction people who are trying to put Americans to work out of business and these homes they are building are not good ones. Just ask anyone who has bought one and then ask them about the warranty they are offered. Is it good.

You want to work the farms there are many welfare people who can do that. Let the farmers pay that money to the state for welfare frauds to work. Once they have to pick crops they will soon fine the employment lines. If thats not enough, then you can go to the prisions. Let them earn their own way. Let the farmers pay the criminals (non-violent). There is a way to fix this system, the government just wants to continue to use and abuse the American taxpayer. When is enough enough?

LA

February 14th, 2011
1:48 pm

“first thing they do is spit out a kid. That allows them welfare, medicaid, free schooling and food stamps. They dont pay taxes and they dont spend a lot of money in the general community. ”

Sounds just like another “culture” in this country. One that resides in heavily crime infested areas.

Ralph

February 14th, 2011
1:48 pm

why the sudden rush of anti immigration and enacting of legislation? The GOP was in the white house from 1980-1992, and 2000-2008 (Reagan and Bush(s). Where was the tea party and republican fervor then? Illegal immigration was a problem then, but no one said crap. Oh wait, let us take it out on the current president. If you want to blame the federal government and current presidential administration fine, but realize and admit that it was your own GOP dominated presidency for 20 of the past 30 years ( 1980-1992 & 2000-2008) that failed to do anything. Where was Senator Rogers and the Georgia GOP then? were they not concerned then?

LA

February 14th, 2011
1:51 pm

“Oh wait, let us take it out on the current president.”

Since he is currently suing Arizona……

TnGelding

February 14th, 2011
1:55 pm

We need them as much as they need us. Our children and grandchildren aren’t willing to do the menial jobs we were happy to do. Who cares what it costs? What’s it costing us now? Nobody really knows. But it is requiring us to compromise our principles. Let those that come forward and identify themselves stay on indefinite work visas, but go after and deport the ones that don’t.

LA

February 14th, 2011
2:00 pm

“We need them as much as they need us.”

No we don’t. I can cut my own lawn, paint my own house etc…

“Our children and grandchildren aren’t willing to do the menial jobs we were happy to do.”

Must suck to be in your family. In my family we all worked jobs to pay our way through college etc. There is no shame in working in fast food etc to gain job skills and learn about the work world. Just because you are ashamed of working those kinds of jobs doesn’t mean the rest of America is.

“Who cares what it costs?”

Uh….taxpayers do.

“What’s it costing us now?”

Lots.

“Let those that come forward and identify themselves stay on indefinite work visas”

Nope, illegal is illegal. If they want to become citizens and work in this country, they can do it the way immigrants have done it for decades.

You Distort/We Deride

February 14th, 2011
2:03 pm

Why don’t we start with some baby steps? Like, for instance, passing a law declaring English to be the official language of the state? How about a bill that denies state-funded health care, or financial aid to college students, to illegal immigrants?

And then, while they’re at it, how about ENFORCING the laws already on the books for God’s sake.

hsn

February 14th, 2011
2:07 pm

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

NO, IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE! If the federal govt. is not enforcing its own laws, there are constitutional proccesses to follow, such as changing the laws to make them enforceable by states through CONGRESS. But these red states find that constitutional process sooo pesky! Creating immigration “patches” in the name of “fending for yourself” and then wondering why you are being sued by the federal govt. itself describes the IQ of these states.
There are several federal laws that are not being enforcement. Why haven’t these red states created their own enforcement “patches,” huh?

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

YES, the Justice Department of the Federal Government of the United States had to sue AZ because it was overstepping its bounds by UNCONSTITUTIONALLY creating “patches” to Federal Immigration laws which AZ (a mere state) had no business of doing. Make sense?

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

Yeah, this coming from someone who voted twice for Bush… I am laughing in block letters!

hsn

Liberal Hating Con/Con Hating Liberal

February 14th, 2011
2:08 pm

And for those of you somehow trying to make this a conservative versus liberal issue, please be reminded that both parties seek benefits from allowing the illegals to remain in the country. This is an issue that has transcended party and President and Congress for decades. It just goes to show how willing everyone is to turn everything into a Democrat vs. Republican debate.

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LA

February 14th, 2011
2:32 pm

“such as changing the laws to make them enforceable by states’

With the country going bankrupt, the federal government doesn’t have the manpower.

“But these red states find that constitutional process sooo pesky!”

Ever been to Illinois? They have so many laws and yet their crime/corruption is out of control. For instance, they have the strictest gun laws in the union yet they have the highest gun crime in the country.

“Why haven’t these red states created their own enforcement “patches,” huh? ‘

Arizona tried and it got sued by Obozo.

“YES, the Justice Department of the Federal Government of the United States had to sue AZ because it was overstepping its bounds by UNCONSTITUTIONALLY’

Not sure how it was overstepping its bounds. I mean, the federal government is supposed to do secure the borders and protect its citizens.

“Make sense?”

No

“Yeah, this coming from someone who voted twice for Bush… I am laughing in block letters!”

Bush was terrible at immigration. He was not terrible when it came to the economy.

Good luck in 12.

LA

February 14th, 2011
2:34 pm

“It just goes to show how willing everyone is to turn everything into a Democrat vs. Republican debate.’

Kind of hard not to when neither party did anything about illegal immigration.

chef pierre

February 14th, 2011
2:34 pm

Republicans hire more illegalls than any other political party ,then profess they are for deporting them, just the same old GOP crap to apease their lunactic so called christan bible thumpming AK carrying tea bagging haters….

LA

February 14th, 2011
2:37 pm

“Yeah, this coming from someone who voted twice for Bush”

Bush has been vindicated. Obama continues several of Bush’s policies.

Two wars – CHECK
Gitmo opened – CHECK
Bush tax cuts extended – CHECK

LA

February 14th, 2011
2:38 pm

“Republicans hire more illegalls than any other political party”

Got anything to back that up?

[...] …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostAnti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Immigration laws: Facing deportation, man becomes face of protest [...]

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:04 pm

THANK YOU Chef Pierre–the Republicans are the biggest illegal worker employers in this country.

My question is this: Who is going to work the crops in the farms? Whites feel that this type of work is degrading and Blacks will cry “slavery” all over again.

EducatedBlackMan

February 14th, 2011
3:05 pm

first thing they do is spit out a kid. That allows them welfare, medicaid, free schooling and food stamps. They dont pay taxes and they dont spend a lot of money in the general community. ”

“Sounds just like another “culture” in this country. One that resides in heavily crime infested areas.”

So you must be talking about poor white America because there are more white americans on welfare than anyone else. Do some research for once before you make a blind dumb statement. Immigration reform is bigger than politics its about MONEY. Unless you are ready to pay 7 dollars for a pack of tomatoes or 5 dollars for a pack of corn then kill the conversation. Corporate america is just as wrong as the government for allowing so called “illegal” immigrants to work here. So what does that really say about American business then?? They could a rats …..about you, corporate america will pay someone a lower wage who doesnt require all the benefits like insurance, 401k, etc than to hire you which in turn will drive the price of food through the roof….It’s funny how only in the South Immigration reform is being pushed like this against a certain race, I wonder why??? There are people coming into this country illegally from every corner of this nation. Only in the South does it take precedent over matters that are really important such as education reform, transportation reform, health care, etc…Are jails and prisons are overcrowded now and the state is barely able to keep them funded so what sense does it make to continue to fill them up??????? Im so ready to leave this backwards thinking state.

EducatedBlackMan

February 14th, 2011
3:06 pm

My comments were directed to LA, btw.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:12 pm

“So you must be talking about poor white America because there are more white americans on welfare than anyone else. Do some research for once before you make a blind dumb statement.”

Nope, I’m talking about poor black people who rely on the federal government.

“Unless you are ready to pay 7 dollars for a pack of tomatoes or 5 dollars for a pack of corn then kill the conversation. ”

Or I could just grow my own.

“It’s funny how only in the South Immigration reform is being pushed like this against a certain race, I wonder why??? ‘

Funny, I had no idea Arizona, Texas and New Mexico were in the south. Also, who is coming here illegally more than any other people? Mexicans.

“Only in the South does it take precedent over matters that are really important such as education reform, transportation reform, health care, etc”

Public schools are a disaster which has nothing to do with the south. Transportation? You mean like MARTA? LOL

“Are jails and prisons are overcrowded now and the state is barely able to keep them funded so what sense does it make to continue to fill them up?”

Blacks fill up more jails and prisons than any other race.

“Im so ready to leave this backwards thinking state.’

Delta is ready when you are.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:14 pm

“Do some research for once before you make a blind dumb statement.’

I did, black man. Not sure what was “dumb” about my comments because they are true.

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:16 pm

The anti illegal immigration is a racist hidden message of anti-Mexican sentiments. I don’t here anyone angry or fed up with all the illegal immigation of the Dominicans, Venezuelans, Colombians, Canadians, Chinese, Indians, Jamaicans, Haitians, Koreans or Brazilians. These too enter/stay in the country illegally but are able to “blend” into the American populations easier.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:18 pm

“The anti illegal immigration is a racist hidden message of anti-Mexican sentiments. ‘

Blah blah blah blah blah.

“I don’t here anyone angry ‘

It’s hear, not here. Maybe you should focus on studying up on your English before complaining.

“These too enter/stay in the country illegally but are able to “blend” into the American populations easier.’

Yeah, I’m sure a Chinese man will blend in faster…….LOL

[...] …Arizona files countersuit tied to challenge of its immigration lawWashington PostAnti-Immigration bandwagon picks up steamAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Immigration laws: Facing deportation, man becomes face of protest [...]

Zach

February 14th, 2011
3:24 pm

Terrific column! There is a difference between civic-minded legislating and self-serving posturing. And we too often fail to recognize that distinction. Thanks for providing a clear picture of the process.

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:25 pm

LA you know exactly what I meant. Perhaps if you start educating yourself some more about other cultures and countries beyond your little bubble, then you would comprehend the message I am conveying. By the way, a typo is not an indicator of a person’s knowledge or education. For your information, I have a Master’s Degree (and not from an online college); from the content of your posts, your vocabulary level is one of an 8th grader and indicative of an individuals who has not received a higher educational level of instruction. By the way, are you upset by all the Chinese illegals in this country or not?

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:30 pm

“Perhaps if you start educating yourself some more ”

Maybe you should educate yourself on AMERICAN laws.

“By the way, a typo is not an indicator of a person’s knowledge or education.’

That wasn’t a typo. It was bad grammar.

“For your information, I have a Master’s Degree”

So do I.

“rom the content of your posts, your vocabulary level is one of an 8th grader and indicative of an individuals who has not received a higher educational level of instruction.’

LOL!!!!!! Ok, what did I write that is equivalent of an 8th grader?

“By the way, are you upset by all the Chinese illegals in this country or not?’

I’m upset that the government allows ANY group of people to be here illegally.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:31 pm

“from the content of your posts, your vocabulary level is one of an 8th grader and indicative of an individuals who has not received a higher educational level of instruction.

Ma’am, I will run circles around your small brain. You have the IQ of a carrot.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:32 pm

“I have a Master’s Degree”

Uh huh, and I am the president of Mars.

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:33 pm

You also sound like you are lacking a whole lot of sex, Sir.

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:34 pm

Let me not say what small thing of yours I would run around circles.LOL

Nope, not this time

February 14th, 2011
3:34 pm

LA……No thats called GENERATIONAL WELFARE…………….
Those are the ones I said could go pick the vegetables lol.

Glad to know someone else is sick as I am over this. Oh and one question; why are we paying for welfare people to have big screen TV’s and cell phones? Welfare was started as a helping hand in times of trouble, not a means of support.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:35 pm

“The anti illegal immigration is a racist hidden message of anti-Mexican sentiments. ”

Ok, for someone who claims to have a masters and also claims that I have an 8th grade education, your sentence structuring is HORRIBLE.

“I don’t here anyone angry or fed up with all’

Again, that is not a typo. Not knowing the difference between HERE and HEAR makes me think that you are one big fat lying Latino.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:36 pm

“You also sound like you are lacking a whole lot of sex, Sir.’

LOL!!!! Gotta love stupid people!

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:37 pm

“Let me not say what small thing of yours I would run around circles.LOL’

Talk about BAD sentence structure. What were you lying about? Oh yeah, having a masters degree.

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:38 pm

Do you know the difference between a bigot and someone that’s jsut plain ignorant. Again, sounds like you are lacking a social/dating life. And by the way I am a Latina-woman, not man. Or do you not know the grammatical difference between those two words?

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:38 pm

“why are we paying for welfare people to have big screen TV’s and cell phones?’

Because that’s how most democrats get their votes.

Here is a great example of the type of people who voted for Obozo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8

TELL THE REAL TRUTH FOR ONCE.

February 14th, 2011
3:40 pm

Hate to tell you something there EducatedBlackMan BUT these people are not paying illegals 5 or 6 dollars per hour. They are paying a lot of them upwards of 25 to 30 per hour in some jobs. These ARE jobs that Americans do want but cant get because the government takes care of everyone EXCEPT THE TAXPAYER who has no rights at all anymore. We are to busy paying welfare and social programs, housing and medical on people who can work but simply dont want to. Whats up with that? Oh and go look again when you say whites are more on welfare then blacks. Yes there are whites on welfare but the general black population continues to have kid after kid after kid on the system while the white folk stop at one. Thus the spending is much higher in the black community.

I do my homework!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Latina & Legal

February 14th, 2011
3:41 pm

Don’t worry about my sentence structure, and worry about filling the deep and wide void that you are obviously suffering from. Adios!

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:41 pm

“Do you know the difference between a bigot and someone that’s jsut plain ignorant.

Again with the poor grammar. Why can’t you construct a coherent sentence? Also, when you ask a question you should end the sentence with a QUESTION MARK.

“Again, sounds like you are lacking a social/dating life.”

I’m married, troglodyte. Besides, it sounds like you are more interested in my sex life than you are with your own illegal race.

“And by the way I am a Latina-woman, not man.”

No kidding. That’s why I referred to you as MA’AM, troglodyte.

“Or do you not know the grammatical difference between those two words?’

Says the person who doesn’t know what HEAR means.

LA

February 14th, 2011
3:42 pm

“Don’t worry about my sentence structure, and worry about filling the deep and wide void that you are obviously suffering from. Adios!’

You are a disgrace to every illegal who illegally enters America. Adios, troglodyte.