Your morning jolt: Parsing claims of victory in illegal immigration decision

In the aftermath of Monday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash to block, at least temporarily, key provisions of Georgia’s new immigration law, Attorney General Sam Olens tried to look on the bright side.

“[E]ven after this ruling, 21 of the 23 sections of HB 87 will go into effect as planned. My office plans to appeal the court’s finding that Sections 7 and 8 of the law are preempted,” Olens said in a quickly issued news release.

Last night, former DeKalb County judge Keegan Federal, one of the attorneys seeking to block HB 87, used his blog to dismiss any attempt by Olens or other state officials to claim victory. From Federal’s Law:

We only challenged two of provisions. The other 21 weren’t argued, and Judge Thrash certainly didn’t “uphold” them. We won total victory on those sections of the statute we sought to invalidate at this phase…..

It is true that a “substantive” provision dealing with E-Verify was not overturned by the judge — and that was because we did not attack that provision since an identical provision in the Indiana law was very recently approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Accordingly, we did not brief that section of the law, nor did the Defendants, and, again, it wasn’t “upheld” by the Judge; it simply wasn’t a part of the case. Saying that this provision was “upheld by the Court” is pure sophistry, intentional mischaracterization of the judge’s ruling, intellectually dishonest, and grossly misleading to the public…..

To be fair, Olens didn’t use the word “upheld,” but expressed pleasure at the fact that Thrash rejected claims that the Georgia law violated the right to travel and to equal protection.

In addition, my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon points out that plaintiffs did in fact ask Thrash to “declare that HB 87 is unconstitutional in its entirety” — that’s language from the lawsuit. But we’ll let Federal continue:

There should be no appeal by the State to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Appeals Court will give Judge Thrash’s injunction the same treatment that the Ninth Circuit gave to the Arizona federal judge’s opinion:

Rapid affirmation.

But the attorney general is going to appeal anyway.

It’s in keeping with a pattern of misleading the public that has gone on for a long time now.

Spin it. Spin it. Spin it.

***
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is denying that he’s reducing his New Hampshire effort. From CNN:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s New Hampshire state director, his only staffer in the state, as well as a Cain campaign regional director have both resigned.

Matt Murphy is the former state director and Jim Zeiler is the former regional director. Both defections raise the question of whether or not the Cain campaign is facing some trouble.

Ellen Carmichael, a spokeswoman for the businessman and former radio host, confirmed … the story that was first reported in the New Hampshire Union Leader. She smacks back any notion that this spells trouble for the campaign.

“We have hired a new New Hampshire director already, who we will announce in the coming days,” Carmichael said.

***
Democratic Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire on Monday vetoed a bill to require voters to produce a photo ID at the ballot, declaring that it would “create a real risk” of depriving some of the right to vote. From the Union Leader newspaper:

“Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire. We already have strong elections laws that are effective in regulating our elections,” Lynch said.

The House and Senate can override Lynch’s veto, if leaders can garner two-thirds majorities. A session to deal with vetoes is expected in the fall.

***
The situation remains unclear, but South Carolina’s presidential primary – the first in the South next year – apparently won’t devolve into a less influential caucus contest. From The State newspaper:

State law allows the S.C. Election Commission to run the 2012 S.C. Republican presidential primary even if Gov. Nikki Haley vetoes sections of the state budget intended to ensure the agency oversees that vote, according to an opinion issued Monday by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Haley has threatened to veto sections of the budget that allow the Election Commission to use $680,000 in its savings to help pay the primary’s estimated $1.5 million cost. Republican Haley repeatedly has said taxpayers should not pay for the primary….

S.C. GOP chairman Chad Connelly said last week that, without the state’s electronic voting machines, paid poll workers and other oversight, the party legally might not be able to host the primary, expected to be held in February or March….

Republican Wilson’s advisory ruling, which does not carry the force of law, says a 2007 state law that allowed the Election Commission to run the 2008 presidential primaries still applies.

***
Speaking to the Macon Rotary Club, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss didn’t sound to keen moving U.S. forces out of their current crucible in Afghanistan. From the Macon Telegraph:

Troop withdrawals by President Barack Obama also threaten Afghanistan and will place fragile gains at risk, he said. Afghanistan has seen progress in some areas, but an entire generation was left uneducated. That country also has a “very corrupt government” and is interlinked with Pakistan, which has a spy service that spies on Americans. But America can’t cut its ties with Pakistan, Chambliss said.

“The Chinese are foaming at the bit to come in behind us,” he said.

***
AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at whether Birmingham, Ala., is indeed the cradle of the Civil Rights movement.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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21 comments Add your comment

Victoria

June 28th, 2011
9:49 am

A group of lawmakers throughout the country are attempting to help eliviate the problem with illegals; unfortunately, they run into wall after wall. I fault big business for much of the problem with the illegals. Why do banks, phone companies, etc., ask you if you want to listen to English or Spanish? This is America – we speak English in this country. If you do not, and cannot learn English – go back to your own country.

Intown

June 28th, 2011
10:23 am

@ Victoria: So is your issue this so-called “problem with illegals” or is it that you just don’t like spanish speakers? It wasn’t that long ago that our great grandparents spoke Italian, Yiddish, German, Gaelic and other languages. They had newspapers and businesses serve them in their own home languages. How about giving Spanish speakers the same chance to assimilate over a generation and make their own contributions to America.

Omar

June 28th, 2011
10:26 am

Yes @Victoria, just like you, right? Maybe you should learn to spell before you speak of the virtues of the English language.

ByteMe

June 28th, 2011
10:33 am

“The Chinese are foaming at the bit to come in behind us,” he said.

Let ‘em.

Teddy Roosevelt

June 28th, 2011
11:12 am

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile…We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

reyes

June 28th, 2011
11:18 am

The ignorance of those that comment in this blog really makes me sad….

doc

June 28th, 2011
11:19 am

Ah, georgia is using the old Nixon Vietnam strategy of declaring victory. Also known as Mission Accomplished.

Oh Victoria, get out of your backwoods shack and see the world Huckleberry. How about Puerto Rico? Everyone there an american citizen by birth and many don’t speak a lick of english. Or some of the memmonite/amish who speak only German? Or Maine’s acadians who speak french first. Or many of our grand and great grand parents who learned little if any english?

The American dream can be translated into many languages and with differenet takes from many different cultures. Isn’t that what makes ameriica great? Or do you not believe in american exceptionalism?

td

June 28th, 2011
12:07 pm

“To be fair, Olens didn’t use the word “upheld,” but expressed pleasure at the fact that Thrash rejected claims that the Georgia law violated the right to travel and to equal protection”

The Judge failed to mention that they were trying to get the entire law thrown out on these two grounds but lost their bid. E-verify is constitutional and will be used and it is a felony now to even have false documents. Now we just need to make sure businesses use E-Verify and put a large task force on the false documents and we will soon find the illegals leaving the state on their own if they can not find a job.

td

June 28th, 2011
12:09 pm

reyes

June 28th, 2011
11:18 am
The ignorance of those that comment in this blog really makes me sad….

Yes, I agree that the people on this blog defending the right for people to break the law and be able to stay in this country is very sad.

reyes

June 28th, 2011
12:32 pm

td

Am not defending illegals, but their crimes are civil offenses and then, under federal law, they are illegal only when, and after detention by ICE, a federal judge declares them so. However, as Americans, we cannot fail to recognize that immigration, legal or not, is part of human nature and that those that come here do so with the same mentality as the colonists and other groups, welcome or unwelcome, to find a better life.

Teddy Roosevelt

June 28th, 2011
12:33 pm

I am all for immigrants coming here to this country and working to make it even better. I am opposed to those who come here to take everything they can from this country to send back to their country of origin and consider this only a temporary stop until they go back there. I have very little sympathy for the farmer who has been here for 10 years but is still an illegal; you have had plenty of opportunity to go become a fully legal citizen who would not be deported.

reyes

June 28th, 2011
12:43 pm

Teddy, eat your sympathy for illegals. May I remind you that the chicken you eat or the steak you grill continues to be processed by illegals! Immigration will not stop no matter how miserable our selfish legislators make it for illegals to be here. Oh, and homework, do some research on ICE policies and their contract with CCA, as well as the GOP ties to CCA and then tell me if these laws are for the benefit of the people of Georgia or for its politicians…..

td

June 28th, 2011
12:48 pm

reyes

June 28th, 2011
12:32 pm

There is nothing wrong with legal immigration to this country and I support it. My wife was a legal immigrant and is a citizen. She spent 8 months in a refugee camp, got all the medical clearances, had a sponsor and came here legally. I am totally against people coming here illegally. No medical clearance, no criminal background check and not waiting in line like legal immigrants had too.

Wondering

June 28th, 2011
2:29 pm

I have several friends who are naturalized citizens, and they get their backs up when compared to the illegals in our country. Immigration can be a good thing. Law breaking is not.

I am not a fan of HB87 but the federal government needs to get its act together. They’re more than willing to create laws about which foreign passports we will honor and forcing restrictions on U.S. citizens travelling in North America, but they won’t enforce our laws when it comes to the illegals. Georgia is well represented in Congress. What are those representatives doing to fix this problem?

yuzeyurbrane

June 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

The State should not waste its money on an appeal to keep the most heinous but only marginally effective provisions of the law. First, it will probably lose. Second, the real guts of the law as far as accomplishing the goal of stopping the employment of illegals is the E-verify provision, and it still stands. It is also most problematical for many agribusn. and construction Repubs who were happy to demagogue the issue so long as they still got their slave labor. But Deal has a win-win. He signed the law and can now rant about activist judges and appeal while perhaps improving the short-term hiring prospects for growers until the e-verify provisions come into effect in 2012 and 2013.

JimboolliOnTheSands

June 28th, 2011
5:26 pm

Omar, It is evident you don’t truly understand. Here is the REAL deal. I don’t mind the illegals being here, as long as they stay out of my site, make no more than $3/hr, and when they are found to have committed a serious crime, they get the death penalty. Other than that, the illegals should shut up, work for peanuts and be glad they don’t get shot.

hey yuzeyurbrane

June 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

Finally someone who sees this law for what it is – political posturing. Though I think it may be even worse than you speculate. The calculation is simple – Deal and the rest of his cronies put forward a law they know will get overturned. That way they get to rail against activist liberal judges while appearing to do something about the problem. In the meantime, the E-verify provision, though it still stands, really accomplishes little in terms of stemming the supply of cheap labor for their construction/agriculture/hotel/restaurant lobby buddies. If Deal (and the Republican or Democratic party) was serious about illegal immigration, why not start with this very VERY simple (and appeal-proof) law: every person convicted of a crime in the state must have their immigration status checked. If they are subject to deportation they get turned over to the Feds. Simple, effective, and really not objectionable. But sadly, we will never see it for those very reasons.

Ga Dawg

June 28th, 2011
7:49 pm

@ reyes – you state the following…
those that come here do so with the same mentality as the colonists and other groups, welcome or unwelcome, to find a better life.
You do realize how many criminals are illegals right? Incredible that you compare them to the colonists. Today they are in the street ILLEGALLY demanding rights that citizens enjoy. Illegal is…illegal period. Do it right or be deported. It’s not a matter of the heart, it’s a matter of the law and what will create a better country in the long run. You must look at the long term effects. If you are a parent you can relate. Kids need boundaries to grow strong and independent…it just doesn’t seem that way at the time to the child. Laws are in place for a reason.
Teddy Roosevelt…Rock on!!!

GAworker

June 29th, 2011
8:27 am

Those companies that knowingly hire these illegals know they don’t have to provide benefits to recruit, they know taxpayers are picking up the cost. Even with that they keep wages low and therefore make huge profits for themselves. If the illegals leave, prices will go up for products, but taxes should go down. But as we all know and some will not admit, the government will not reduce taxes for the sake of maintaining power. Big farming and Big government working hand in hand. What is right about “illegal”? We need to take our financial lumps and do the right thing and take Big farming and Big government kicking and screaming the whole way.

Screw Republicans

June 29th, 2011
2:15 pm

Screw republicans…enough said.

Teddy Roosevelt

June 29th, 2011
2:59 pm

I counter your argument with screw stupid liberals.