Who gains after a judge blocks Georgia’s immigration law? (Updated)

UPDATE at 3:35 p.m. (incorporates and adds to previous updates) –The bulk of Georgia’s illegal-immigration law, known as HB 87, remains intact even though a federal judge Monday blocked two of the more controversial pieces of it from taking effect Friday as scheduled.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash said two provisions of the law — a requirement that law enforcement officers check the immigration status of people who can’t provide IDs, and punishments for anyone who harbors or transports anyone else illegally present in the country — unlawfully preempt federal statutes. He issued an injunction to prevent them from taking effect July 1.

But the rest of the law remains will proceed, including phased-in requirements for businesses and local/state governments and agencies to check the immigration status of new hires, penalties of up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for people who use fake identification documents to get a job in Georgia, and requirements that anyone receiving public benefits such as food stamps provide a “secure and verifiable” ID document.

Given all that, I don’t think today’s ruling changes very much for illegal immigrants. The “fear factor” will probably be lessened, particularly with the change in the law-enforcement piece, but an injunction can always be reversed on appeal. Getting a job or public benefits will be more difficult for them, as the law’s authors intended. I doubt South Georgia farmers will suddenly see a flood of migrants returning to work.

In other words, we still need a workable, federal solution to the problem of illegal immigration.

ORIGINAL POST:

Many new Georgia laws take effect this Friday, July 1, including the big illegal immigration statute, HB 87. Unless, in the case of the immigration law, a federal judge strikes down all or part of it before then.

The questions U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash asked at a hearing last week suggest he’s inclined to do just that. If so, we’re likely to have even more confusion and turmoil than we’ve seen in the two months since the bill passed. But there will also be opportunity for:

  • Georgia farmers, whom the law gave little time to make alternative arrangements for the labor needed to bring in early summer harvests. I do wonder, however, how many of the migrant workers who have avoided Georgia’s farms during the past two months will be persuaded to come back by a court order, which itself could end up being overturned.
  • Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, Gary Black, who was tasked with designing a guest-worker program for the state, even though a federal guest-worker program already exists. A delay in implementing the law, particularly if it means less of a labor shortage in the short term, would give Black more time to figure out what to do. (One possibility: Since the complaints about the federal system tend to center on the difficulty of using it, create a state interface that essentially makes it easier to use the existing federal program.)

I’m a little less clear on what supporters of the law will be able to do in the face of an injunction, other than ask an appeals court to overturn it. I would assume the less legally controversial parts of the law — the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a state’s E-Verify requirement — would not be thrown out. But if not, might the General Assembly take them up in a smaller bill during this summer’s special redistricting session?

– By Kyle Wingfield

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143 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

June 27th, 2011
10:49 am

Who will gain….lawyers!!!

How do you pass a bill w/o a guest worker provision in it? They had years to draft this (based on all the rhetoric) and still got it wrong!

Kyle Wingfield

June 27th, 2011
10:52 am

Road: That answer doesn’t count…the lawyers always gain from every law ever passed…

Ernesto

June 27th, 2011
11:09 am

Everyone wins. The farmers will have better chances to persuade more legal Latino workers and non-legal ones to work on those fields. Thus, saving many of those fields from going to waste.

The consumer wins too. If our fields can’t get workers, then prices on many vegetable would go up to make up for losses.

Police will win too. Many do not want to take the roll of immigration officers and lose the trust of their citizens.

Minorities and immigrants will win too. We do not wan to be constantly bothered by being asked if we are in the country legally. I don’t feel investors who visit our state like that type of treatment.

Foreign investors will be more willing to bring their money to the state. Brazilian legend Cruzeiro Esporte Clube wants to build a $30 million youth soccer complex in Alpharetta, and its leaders say they have deep-pocketed investors to pull it off.

Immigrant families will win too. If the law takes effect in July 1, many families will be broken. Immigration is too complex. While the mother or father might be illegal, the children are US Citizens.

Many local businesses will win too. Many businesses rely on the Hispanic and other minority communities. This law is driving away many minorities away causing big losses for many business.

May I remind you that the field are not the only ones dependent on immigrant workers (legal and illegal). The construction industry would also suffer with this law. If construction lacks of workers, then everyone else will have to pay as well….

that's goofy

June 27th, 2011
11:09 am

Who will gain: those that scream and complain of judicial activism when they don’t get their way.

MomTaxpayerCitizen

June 27th, 2011
11:19 am

I have nothing but respect for foreigners who respect our laws, bu we live in a world of limited resources, which is why we have immigration laws. With millions of foreign freeloaders and criminals here illegally to exploit U.S. taxpayers, we must enforce our immigration laws if we care about our children at all.

Billions of U.S. tax dollars is given to foreigners every year when they use our emergency rooms as free health clinics, get free educations for their kids and welfare checks for their anchor babies.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/05/local/la-me-illegal-welfare-20100906
http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2011/apr/most-illegal-immigrant-families-collect-welfare

Nevada has the highest unemployment rate and the highest percentage of illegal workers in the country.
http://www.lvrj.com/news/pew-report-nevada-leads-in-number-of-illegal-workers-115030374.html

Illegal immigrants depress our wages.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE2tNO3Uvs0

Illegal immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than
U.S. natives, particularly identity theft and tax evasion.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-immigration-fraud-idUSTRE71N68920110224
Half of the FBI’s most wanted for homicide in America are Mexican citizens.
http://www.bing.com/browse?g=fbis_most_wanted&form=msnhed&gt1=36010#toc=0&citizenship_rbid=20,35&wanted_for_rbid=38
The fires destroying much of Arizona were started close to the border in a park closed to the public on a path used by illegals. Law-abiding American citizens would not have been in the area.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcjfiZ8GnXI

Many illegal immigrants are not here to assimilate, but to take over.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYSjFx-Qz4I
http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/hispanicleaders.asp
http://www.politicalforum.com/current-events/127275-pro-illegal-immigrant-group-threatens-kill-americans-axes.html

Illegal immigrants benefit themselves at the expense of our children’s futures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyTmClBU7nA

Joe

June 27th, 2011
11:25 am

Georgia will gain !! We do not need Law against immigration because this is a federal issue. The currnt immigration bill is racist. It is voted by people that (secretly) identify with KKK and others racist groups idiolgy located in GA.

Steve

June 27th, 2011
11:41 am

The currnt immigration bill is racist. It is voted by people that (secretly) identify with KKK and others racist groups idiolgy located in GA.

Joe, got proof to back that up?

Bryan G.

June 27th, 2011
11:43 am

Joe – take off the tin foil hat. People that identify with KKK? Come on.

Also…if caucasians vote on a law that is anti-Hispanic, it actually isn’t “racist” since those are two groups of the same race. And now you know.

Ironweed

June 27th, 2011
12:02 pm

American citizens win hands down if we stick by our guns and stop paying for the invasion of our own country by a poverty class lowering the standard of living.

If the farmers want to teach them a lesson while they pocket the government subsidies, let’s teach them a lesson in return – no illegal labor.

legal immigant

June 27th, 2011
12:06 pm

being a legal immigrant, I get temporary respite, knowing that I dont have to carry folders of immigration paperwork documenting efforts to apply for permanent residency and that USCIS hanging applications in limbo status with various clauses, because of their inept processing and archaic laws.

Arrchie Bunker

June 27th, 2011
12:22 pm

The Undocumented Immigrants pay the exact same amount of taxes like you and me when they buy Things, rent a house, fill up gas, drink a beer or wine, buy appliances, play the states lottery and mega millions . Below are the links to just a few sites that will show you exactly how much tax you or the Undocumented Immigrant pays , so you see they are NOT FREELOADERS, THEY PAY TAXES AND TOLLS Exactly the same as you, Now if you take out 10% from your states /city Budget what will your city/state look like financially ?

Stop your folly thinking , you are wise USE YOUR WISDOM to see the reality. They pay more taxes than you think, Including FEDERAL INCOME TAX using a ITN Number that is given to them by the IRS, Social Security Taxes and State taxes that are withheld form their paychecks automatically.

Taxes, paid by You & the Undocumented are the same in each state check your state : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales.html

GAS Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same. Go to and check out your states tax; http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes.asp

Cigarette Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same, check this out in : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/cigarett.html

Clothing Sales Taxes, are the same paid by you & the Undocumented Immigrant; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_the_United_States

City Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented, since he pays rent and the LANDLORD pays the city : http://www.town-usa.com/statetax/statetaxlist.html

Beer Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/beer.html

TAX DATA : http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/245.html

Jefferson

June 27th, 2011
12:25 pm

The judge gains power over the legislator.

This state has the attititude of “Do something, even if it is wrong”

Joe

June 27th, 2011
12:44 pm

Bryan,

>> if caucasians vote on a law that is anti-Hispanic, it actually isn’t “racist” since those are two >>groups of the same race.

This statement is wrong. The Nazi were/are racist regime targeted mainly Caucasians that are not “Aryan” race such as Jewis and Slavic (Russians. polish etc.). This bill is very simmilar to the Nazi first bill in 1935 targeting non Aryan people (Not allow to employ, renting, transporting etc.) I still think that the law is driven by conservative people that prefer not to see legal and illegal Hispanic people in GA.

http://www.indypressny.org/nycma/voices/237/series/Across/

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/25/georgia-gov-nathan-deal-portrayed-in-nazi-uniform-by-spanish-la/

By the way I am not “Hispanic”

Bryan G.

June 27th, 2011
12:49 pm

Joe…Aryan is also not a race – it’s a sub-group of Caucasians. Hispanics are Caucasian just as Gov. Deal is Caucasian. Therefore, the bill cannot be, by definition “racist.”

If you would like to call the law “bigoted” or “prejudiced” that is certainly your prerogative. At least try to use the properly-defined insult.

Rob Woodall has his free, socialized, government healthcare. Wants you to buy expensive, inferior healthcare from anyone but the government

June 27th, 2011
12:51 pm

Archie Bunker is correct. Illegal immigrants pay taxes and use a lower amount of social services than others in their same socio-economic strata. Righties don’t like to hear it because it is the hard truth.

USMC

June 27th, 2011
12:57 pm

All of the Illegals that I know are on their way out of the state this week.

Looks like there will be lots of job openings in Georgia soon.

Confused by liberals way of thinking

June 27th, 2011
1:04 pm

Why is it that liberals think it is okay and support an “illegal” to be here “illegally”? So by their way of thinking it is okay for someone to murder, steal, rape, abuse etc…since that is an “illegal” act. People need to know if it is against the law it MEANS AGAINST THE LAW! What part of illegal do liberals not understand? Come here legally and I am okay with it…and I am not a racist…but I do expect people to RESPECT our laws.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

June 27th, 2011
1:07 pm

“joe”, above is likely really jose

jconservative

June 27th, 2011
1:09 pm

Kyle I thought we had all agreed that the special redistricting session should be doing that and nothing else.

The problem with HB 87 is that it was written by city folk with no experience in running a large produce growing farm where the window to harvest is really small.

The authors of HB 87 need to sit down with a few farmers and craft a bill both can live with.

Intown

June 27th, 2011
1:11 pm

Everyone wins. Because it is against our own economic interest to be scaring a needed and willing workforce away.

We should have a giant Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island-like processing center welcoming immigrant workers at the US-Mexico border, not a wall.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

June 27th, 2011
1:12 pm

It does not matter if wets use less social services than blacks of the same economic strata..or poor white trash for that matter..the illegals use billions of dollars worth, and if they were not here, thats billions not stolen from the legal native born and naturalized citizens of the United states. One red cent is too much and more than any non citizens life is worth to me.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

June 27th, 2011
1:15 pm

Borders, Language, culture!!!!!

Kyle Wingfield

June 27th, 2011
1:16 pm

jconservative: That was a guess, not an endorsement. My feelings about the special session haven’t changed.

Confused by liberals way of thinking

June 27th, 2011
1:18 pm

Absolutely correct Trisha, but also the people on welfare and unemployment they can go out there and work in the fields. If I didn’t have a job and that was available to me, I would be out there in a heart beat to support my family. The ones that refuse to work out there do not deserve to eat…meaning the lazy people. I say cut off welfare and unemployment checks if they refuse to do the work. Sometimes you have to man up and work for a living instead of leeching off of everyone. Start contributing instead of never working.

DebbieDoRight

June 27th, 2011
1:19 pm

Also…if caucasians vote on a law that is anti-Hispanic, it actually isn’t “racist” since those are two groups of the same race. And now you know.

What the f^&*ck are you on? How are hispanics the same race as caucasions unless of course you’re saying they are of the HUMAN race. If that’s your point, then everyone belongs in that category.

Bryan G: Hispanics are Caucasian

Please, please…….look up HISPANIC. See what it says. Then, maybe, you might learn something. Jeesh!
The terms Hispanic and Latino tend to be used interchangeably in the United States for people with origins in Spanish–speaking countries, like Mexico (see Dan Macri) though they are mostly “mestizos” (mixed Spanish and American Indians). Contrary to many beliefs, Hispanic is not a race, Duh!

Kyle: Road: That answer doesn’t count…the lawyers always gain from every law ever passed…

How so? Besides, when that illegal law is cut down the main people who’ll gain is the entire state of georgia. We can hold our heads up instead of being likened to the imbeciles in some of those other states. Well, except for the “being 49th out of 50 in education”; having double digit unemployment, electing a crook as govenor, ummmm………never mind about that “head up thingy”.

LeeH1

June 27th, 2011
1:28 pm

Uh, send the politicians out to the field. They are already government workers, and since they created this mess, them and their families should work to clean it up. Democrats in one field, Republicans in another.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

June 27th, 2011
1:34 pm

How to shut a liberal up, without using a softball bat….(which is less fun I guess, but more legally accepted)..

GA, thanks to its continuing cuts in government staffing, spending, and reach, is one of only 8 states with coveted AAA bond rating as of today.

ByteMe

June 27th, 2011
1:54 pm

No, they won’t take it up in special session, just because every politician south of Macon won’t want anything to do with it now that they’ve seen and heard — up close and personal — the pain they’ve caused the plantation owners who own most of the land down there.

Who wins? Mostly consumers of fresh Georgia vegetables and fruits. Landscape company owners. That’s pretty much most of the list.

[...] – By Kyle Wingfield [...]

Officer Smith

June 27th, 2011
2:18 pm

Show me your papers

Moderate Line

June 27th, 2011
2:26 pm

>> if caucasians vote on a law that is anti-Hispanic, it actually isn’t “racist” since those are two >>groups of the same race.

This statement is wrong. The Nazi were/are racist regime targeted mainly Caucasians that are not “Aryan” race such as Jewis and Slavic (Russians. polish etc.). This bill is very simmilar to the Nazi first bill in 1935 targeting non Aryan people (Not allow to employ, renting, transporting etc.) I still think that the law is driven by conservative people that prefer not to see legal and illegal Hispanic people in GA.
+++++
I believe you are referring to the Nuremburg law passed in 1935 stripped Jews of their citizenship. How is stripping someone of their citizenship which the Nuremburg laws did to the Jews and preventing people who are non-citizens from working in a country they are in illegally similar?

In essence the left are the ones who are doing something which would appear equivalent because they want to give a certain ethnic group rights to immigrate here without going through the same process as everyone else trying to immigrate.

Moderate Line

June 27th, 2011
2:35 pm

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9 percent),
adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks
(16.2 percent), and Hispanics (11.9 percent) showed little or no change in May. The
jobless rate for Asians was 7.0 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

The most interesting thing about the racist argument when it comes to preventing illegal immigration is the people hurt most by illegal immigration is legal Hispanics citizens and blacks. The unemployment rate whites in the US are 8%. However, the unemployment for Hispanics is 11.9% and for blacks it is 16.2%. Typically, higher income people benefit because they receive cheaper goods and services while the other two are adversely affect because they are competing for those jobs. The racial argument backfires when you look at the numbers.

truth

June 27th, 2011
2:38 pm

I would rather have hard working illegals than all the bums you see at Five Points.

Cut off welfare/unemployment and make people work for their money.

dan

June 27th, 2011
2:54 pm

The Gov says that we should be hiring unemployed ex-cons to do the work. Nice.

I think we should use prison labor. That’s a lot cheaper.

Since the illegals are here “illegally”, we can just arrest them, put them in prison, then put them on prison work programs right back on the farm, then just take them home to their cells each night. The revenue can go right to the prisons, so we can cover our prison budget problems right away!

It would be like socialized sharecropping. Neat, isn’t it!

The cool thing is, there would be no new laws. They could “almost” do it right now, since they already allow the prison labor, they just have to make being in the USA “illegal” an actual state crime rather than a federal civil infraction. (what does that mean anyway???)

Once we do that, we can get them right back to work.

Laurie

June 27th, 2011
2:56 pm

I guess this means I know longer have to show my driver’s license to the police (much less my insurance card), and give them fake information like some illegal immigrant would, and don’t have to worry about being punished for it. Go me!

FreeloadersGoHome

June 27th, 2011
3:02 pm

Illegals may pay the same as you & me when they buy stuff at stores, etc., BUT they are the ones who go to the county health departments & DFACS offices and lie (and in the case of Habersham & other counties) are helped to lie to get government assitance that our fixed income seniors and truly disabled cannot get. Then they get in their new pickup truck and go to the local grocery store and buy about three buggy loads of food with their assitance. This is what pi**es people off. Give them their guest worker status which means: you work, you get paid, you leave when the season is over and no government benefits. And to those who say they are the only one who will do certain jobs. There are at least two companies in Habersham County that will basically only hire Hispanics and I applied to one years ago and they had two seperate baskets for applications: Spanish & Other. And you know where the “other” went—-file 13………….

Moderate Line

June 27th, 2011
3:03 pm

DebbieDoRight

June 27th, 2011
1:19 pm
Also…if caucasians vote on a law that is anti-Hispanic, it actually isn’t “racist” since those are two groups of the same race. And now you know.

[Delete]How are hispanics the same race as caucasions unless of course you’re saying they are of the HUMAN race. If that’s your point, then everyone belongs in that category.
+++++
Some are caucasion and some are not.
Here are the percent who are white:
Mexico 9%, 60% Amerindian
Cuba 65.1%
Argentina 97.5%
Chile white and white-Amerindian 95.4%

Plus many are a mixture of Amerindian and white which interesting enough in our country classifies you as white but since they are from a Spanish speaking country they are Hispanic. I am a mixture
of Amerindia and white but yet by definition in this country I am white.

GW

June 27th, 2011
3:04 pm

It seems as though the Republicans are afflicted with a bad case of not understanding the Georgia Constitution or is it the U.S. Constitution or maybe it’s both.

Eraserhead

June 27th, 2011
3:07 pm

The state rep from peachtree city should have known that a federal judge was going to block parts of his law. The current crop of republicans in the legislature just didn’t think this one out and it has cost the state farmers millions in lost product. BTW, I voted for some of these bums including our governor who had the audacity to suggest that prisoners could work in the fields. Makes me ashamed of myself for listening to these folks.

Golden Fingers

June 27th, 2011
3:08 pm

My take on the whole illegal thing is that it is against the law, period. True our country was bullt on immigration. That was different. Everyone was coming here to be american, the greatest country in the world. They would strive to be american to be a part of this great country. We were founded on certain principles that kept us great. Now we have so many people here illegal or leagal and the morals and princeples of their home country’s are changing us. And you wonder why we have so many problems. Bottom line is that everyone who want’s to become a US citizen can. It might take some time but there is a path. The path is always quicker if they will learn english which will help them get through all the red tape they need to. It’s a shame when someone can just bust into our house (country) breaking the law, but when an america citizen want to smoke a little marijuanna in is own house they throw the book at them. We have fallen over the edge and cannot go back. We are doome if no one will take a stand and stop worrying about what all these other countries (the ones who will take your life or throw you in prison if you cross thier border) think One more thing, Everytime I hear “It’s unconstitutional” I wand to scream. The constitution was written for United States Citizens. Of course this administration could care less about the constitution.

Latina & Legal

June 27th, 2011
3:08 pm

The ignorance and ineptedness of Georgia policymakers’ knowledge on the U.S. Constituion is proven once again. Do these idiots even read?

Jeff

June 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

We, the People, will stand up to these invaders if the “law” does not do it. Americans have had it with ILLEGALS. Yes, it’s ILLEGALS, not Immigrants. And for the record, we were doing fine before the ILLEGALS got here, and we’ll be doing fine when they leave. For those who took an oath of office or service to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic, you are failing.

reebok

June 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

the US constitution is inconvenient when you are pandering to the extreme right in order to pile up poltical points.

Intown

June 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

Judge Thrash does not fear the State of Georgia.

jconservative

June 27th, 2011
3:13 pm

Kyle – OK on the guess and and I would not disagree that it may happen if the judge issues a final decision by the time the Assembly meets.

truth

June 27th, 2011
3:17 pm

So farmers lose millions
As a GA taxpayer I will pay for the court fees for the next year (appeals)

Matt Ramsey is an idiot

Brenda

June 27th, 2011
3:17 pm

Ha ha ha! You didn’t think that our Georgia backwoods mentality would be tolerated by the feds now did you? Illegal people from other countries will continue to be here and everyone should get used to it….they contribute a lot more than they take.

Jeff

June 27th, 2011
3:21 pm

Oh yeah. Anyone know of what farms are using Illegal labor so I can look for their goods in the grocery stores and NOT buy them?

Intelligent

June 27th, 2011
3:21 pm

Illegal immigrants’ effect on this country is 100% negative. They dont abide by our laws. They don’t pay taxes. They dont’t buy car insurance. They don’t buy health insurance. They don’t do one thing that is positive for our country. How can anyone think their presence here is not a bad thing?

Sam

June 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

Just avoid fruits and veggies altogether then.