State legislators consider Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigrants

A state legislative panel studying whether Georgia should adopt an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration has received a long list of proposals to consider, including authorizing all local and state law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

Also on the list is a proposed requirement for all businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to ensure their employees are in the country legally. Other proposals include creating new criminals offense for people who stop vehicles to hire and pick up day laborers; conceal, harbor, or shield illegal immigrants; or encourage illegal immigrants to move here.

These proposals are outlined in a Nov. 3 memo from deputy legislative counsel Terry Long to the Joint House and Senate Study Committee on Immigration Reform. Long does not identify the sources of the ideas in her memo, but she said they did not come from her office.

But Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, co-chairman of the committee, said the ideas came from legislators and various organizations from around the country, including the National Conference of State Legislatures. Murphy’s panel is seeking to draft a comprehensive immigration bill before the next state legislative session starts in January.

Regarding the proposal to give local police the power to enforce federal immigration laws, Murphy indicated that could present some legal challenges.

“I’m not sure we can do that,” Murphy said after attending his committee meeting at the State Capitol Wednesday. “But we do have the ability when we stop somebody for a violation to ask them — if there is reasonable suspicion — if they are here illegally.”

The Obama administration has held that it is the federal government’s responsibility to enforce immigration laws and it sued to stop Arizona’s law. A federal judge this year blocked the part of Arizona law that requires police to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

At the same time, the federal government has been empowering local police and sheriff’s deputies in Georgia — and many other states — to enforce immigration laws through so-called 287(g) agreements. Through these agreements, local police are given the power to question people about whether they are in the country legally and issue arrest warrants, prepare charging documents and detain and transport criminals for immigration violations.

Several people spoke at a committee public hearing Wednesday about the possibility of Georgia adopting something similar to Arizona’s law.

“A similar law would have a devastating effect on our economy,” said Helen Kim Ho, executive director of the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia. “Such a policy would also hamper foreign economic development in our state because of the bad publicity which would result from boycotts and the image of Georgia as an anti-immigrant state.”

Responding to Ho, Sen. John Bulloch, a member of the committee, complained illegal immigrants are “taking advantage of our services, our education system.”

“It all should be done on the federal level,” Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, said of enforcing immigration laws. “We all agree to that. But at the same time we have the ability to create Georgia laws and that is what we are looking at.”

67 comments Add your comment

Fed Up w/the Fed

November 19th, 2010
12:23 pm

If Americans, regardless of race got off the of the street corners and welfare lines then took the jobs that are outsourced to illegals and foreign countries, there wouldn’t be a place for them here. In times like these employers should fire the illegals and hire legal american citizens who need work.

StrangerOz

November 19th, 2010
12:45 pm

said Helen Kim Ho, “bad publicity which would result from boycotts and the image of Georgia as an anti-immigrant state.” C’mon! What absolute rubbish! Georgia encourages LEGAL immigration. There should be no other way. If the Feds actually enforced the law, the problem would be nowhere near as bad as it is right now! I love the idea of formally charging those that harbor, employ, conceal or otherwise aid the ILLEGAL immigrants while here….or encouraging them to come here! It’s about time these traitorous companies were given a formal CRIMINAL record for hiring ILLEGAL immigrants and not citizens and legal residents! Shame them loudly and publicly!!!!

Andy

November 19th, 2010
12:52 pm

Fed Up W/ the Fed:

I agree with you on that, but there is a problem calling ‘discrimination lawsuits’ by illegal aliens or undocumented/expired visa workers. Can you imagine a major corporation like Wal-Mart or the like having zero tolerance for illegal aliens? Lawyers would have a field day with that.

Fed Up w/the Fed

November 19th, 2010
3:47 pm

ANDY — that’s the really ridiculous part…it’s just sad sad sad.

yuzeyurbrain

November 19th, 2010
3:59 pm

Action; reaction. The whole country will be a majority non-white in 15-20 years according to Census estimates. The political power of Republicans will disappear unless they change their stance towards new majority. In the meantime, if history is a guide, we will see more and more efforts to disenfranchise the new majority and hold onto power. But it will ultimately fail. Just look at recent election results in California, Nevada and Colorado. Hispanics, in those cases, provided the margin of victory for Democrats agains TeaParty Republicans who had bashed them.

Fire Eater

November 20th, 2010
4:49 am

The role of Tea Party people and others who carried the GOP to victory is like that of the political commissars to the Soviet Red Army during World War II…march behind the troops to make sure they fight and deal ruthlessly with “deserters and defeatists.”

I believe we will see more than just talk against illegal aliens from our new governor and legislature…we in Georgia could exceed Arizona with measures that could drive this menace from the state. For example, a 10% tax on foreign wire transfers if the sender has no state ID…unavailable to illegals. Or require government school students to bring back a note from mommy and daddy regarding their immigration status. If we drain the water in which they swim, they will self-deport.

The mass departure of illegals would be a “win-win.” While our community improves with illegals departing, Kalifornia and a few other deep-blue states will be their refuge, overloading their already bankrupt social service and criminal justice systems. This will be fitting punishment for their Democratic voting habits as well as making these places even more alien to middle America.

Immigration is the issue of our lifetime.

Thomas Paine II

November 20th, 2010
11:53 am

Thus ends the Republic. When anyone who can sneak across the border in the dead of night is given victim status and provided with all of the services of the state with the cost passed on to the citizens it becomes impossible to maintain a sovereign state. Once this is lost, national integrity will soon collapse and this once beautiful nation will fracture into separate states resembling Europe. For some of you, this is exactly what you want because the U.S. is ‘evil’ and needs to be destroyed, and this invasion will hasten this end. For others in the society, it just seems “fair”; and your short sightedness will facilitate the aims of the others. If the majority of people in the U.S. insist on open border policies we need to re-visit our taxing policy and replace the current tax system with something along the lines of the FAIR tax, where ALL taxes are replaced with a single sales tax sufficient to cover the needs of the nation and the states. Under such an arrangement everyone would pay for the upkeep of the state, even the illegals. At least then, we could better afford the largess they demand.

[...] Georgia Elections News [...]

eatmotacos

November 20th, 2010
6:17 pm

Fire Eater, I wouldn’t hold my breath until Nathan Deal does something about illegal aliens.

Red Hot Pete

November 20th, 2010
8:33 pm

Mexicans ARE welcome…. Stand in line as did the OTHERS and come here LEGAL!! Learn English, also!!

REPEAT… Georgia Legislators “Get something done, start getting rid of all illegals today. You were elected to do the willl of the people, get it done”!!!

Car Richardson

November 21st, 2010
12:21 am

Illegal immigrants = cheap labor..Both Democrats and Republicans support cheap labor.
Every construction site I pass, I see all Mexican crews..AMERICANS WANT THAT JOB.
Mom and pop American landscapers are put out of business, by illegals working for CORPORATE landscaping companies. Illegals repair the roads, drive trucks, clean the hospitals, do roofing, cook, etc AMERICANS WANT THOSE JOBS.
A quick way to citizenship, go fight in the Iraq, Afghanistan War…..they are not going to do it.
They send their money back to Mexico, and don’t want to become a U. S. citizen.
They are smart, they are investing in their country. And the corporations and business owners hiring illegals are bankrupting American workers.. But Republicans and Democrats work for corporations and therefore will do nothing about illegal immigration.

J.C. Calhoun

November 21st, 2010
6:25 am

I’m a Georgia native married to a non-citizen. All you racist fools should go lynch yourselves.

Ed Stavaganza

November 21st, 2010
11:11 am

It is just plain WRONG to allow ANY class of people to BREAK THE LAW!! They take our jobs, they swell the welfare rolls, they force us to build bigger schools, the are BREAKING our already weak healthcare system. SEND THEM HOME!!! The federal gov’t will not act. the State MUST!

Now Now Georgia - better watch out.

November 21st, 2010
2:59 pm

Better watch out Georgia, Obamination won’t like you stepping on illegals Uh, um, ‘undocumented workers’ toes. He’ll be sending that corrupt sesspool called Dept of Justice down on you. Especially now that the Democrooks are a very and I do mean VERY small minority!! Oh to heck with it, DO IT Georgia!!!

To Fed Up w/the Fed -

November 21st, 2010
3:04 pm

Well, I agree with you to a point however a key word you mentioned – outsourced workers! I was outsourced, and when the unemployment office mentioned I lost my job I told the woman no ma’m, I did not LOSE IT, I know exactly where it went. I just didn’t go with it!! My salary dropped from $40 an hour to $15 over night while the bankers, corporations and beauracrats raped me with taxes!! If I ‘lose’ my job again, I’m going to sit on my arse and take every dime I can!!! I didn’t make 30 million last year like the CEO of American Express!!!

eatmotacos

November 21st, 2010
4:35 pm

Another very real issue is the lack of medical screening of illegal aliens. People who enter our country legally are screened for contagious diseases for a reason. The alarming fact associated with this issue is the large numbers of illegal aliens who are preparing our food in fast food restaurants. The fast food people are one of the largest lobbies pushing to keep their medically unscreened cheap labor, even though they represent over half of the hepatitis B cases in this country and are 10 times more likely to have TB(frequently, the kind that scares the daylights out of pennicillin). You may want to think about that the next time you order your favorite burger and fries. If having a legitimate reason to be concerned makes me a racist, then call me a racist. The negatives associated with our open borders policy far outweigh any positives – the problem is that our two faced politicians are aligned with those who benefit financially.

Jem

November 21st, 2010
5:08 pm

Now we’re beginning to see why blindly voting one party or the other is such a bad idea. Our politicians are saying “screw you,” and they know it won’t matter. We’ll vote Republican no matter what.