Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

Sonny Perdue takes himself out of 2014 race for Senate

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue has declared himself out of a 2014 contest to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, but placed himself on the side of Republicans who believe the party has become too rigid in its approach.

In a statement e-mailed this morning, the governor declared himself “flattered” by the support that has been offered, but cited his reasons for avoiding the contest: A dozen grandchildren, business obligations and “a loving and devoted wife who has absolutely no interest in living in Washington.” From his statement:

Gov. Sonny Perdue has removed himself from the long list of Republicans considering a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Gov. Sonny Perdue has removed himself from the long list of Republicans considering a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

“Our country deserves more than the current dysfunction in Washington D.C. and our party needs to return to problem-solving conservatism. We have an opportunity, led by the examples of Republican Governors across the nation, to prove to the country that we are the party that can rise above the dogma and …

Continue reading Sonny Perdue takes himself out of 2014 race for Senate »

Your daily jolt: Senate Dems to push back on ethics, abortion, HOPE and foreclosures

On Feb. 5, when the south Georgia contest to replace John Bulloch is completed, Republicans will have 38 members in a 56-member state Senate.

That will give the GOP a super-majority of two-thirds. Which means Democrats will be a super-minority.

Nonetheless, Senate Democrats this morning intend to push out their agenda for this year’s legislative session. Much of it is blue-skying, but here’s a quick rundown of the new legislation they’ll attempt:

– A bill to eliminate all distinctions between the Zell Miller scholarship and other HOPE grants, and to require colleges universities and tech schools to accept HOPE payments as full tuition. Sponsor: Curt Thompson of Tucker;

– A bill to reduce GPA requirement for HOPE grants to 2.0. Sponsor: Jason Carter of Decatur;

– A prohibition on the use of handheld devices while driving. Horacena Tate of Atlanta;

– Repeal of the “fetal pain” bill that the Legislature passed last year, reducing the period during which a woman can seek …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Senate Dems to push back on ethics, abortion, HOPE and foreclosures »

Hudgens says HB 87 bogs down insurance license renewals

Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has become the latest state official to note the effect of red tape generated by H.B. 87, Georgia’s 2011 measure to address illegal immigration.

The following note from Hudgens has been posted on the agency’s website:

Due to recent legislative changes involving the Citizenship verification that is now required for all licensees at renewal, renewal processing in Georgia is backlogged and behind schedule.

Please know that the Department and its vendor are working diligently to ensure all renewals are processed before December 31st.

However if there are renewals that have been submitted and not processed by December 31st – the Department will continue processing these renewals until all have been updated.

We are asking Insurers and companies to be patient as the delay in a licensee being able to provide a copy of their new license card is not necessarily their fault at this point due to this time delay with renewal processing.

If you …

Continue reading Hudgens says HB 87 bogs down insurance license renewals »

Your daily jolt: Defuse the next debt debate with a pair of trillion-dollar coins

You know we have another debt-ceiling debate coming up. The last one resulted the “fiscal cliff” we’re still struggling with. Republican threats to block it are already in the air.

But some economists are advocating an odd tactic to defuse any impasse: two $1 trillion-dollar coins. From the Washington Post:

Under current law, the Treasury is technically allowed to mint as many coins made of platinum as it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.

Under this scenario, the U.S. Mint would make a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Fed moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations for the next two years — without needing to issue new debt. The ceiling is no longer an issue.

“I like it,” said Joseph Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “There’s nothing that’s …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Defuse the next debt debate with a pair of trillion-dollar coins »

Your daily jolt: Cobb County D.A. says he’s done prosecuting Jessica Colotl

The Cobb County district attorney says he’s done prosecuting metro Atlanta’s most famous illegal immigrant, and wants a local judge to get over it.

Pat Head, whose term as county prosecutor is about to expire, says Jessica Colotl, the Kennesaw State University student whose illegal status sparked a statewide debate, has completed a plea bargain arrangement that he’s approved.

Jessica Colotl with her attorney, Jerome Lee at an October 2011 hearing.  Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com.

Jessica Colotl with her attorney, Jerome Lee at an October 2011 hearing. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com.

Even if Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley hasn’t. From Kim Isaza and the Marietta Daily Journal:

In an eight-page response filed in Cobb Superior Court on Tuesday, Head repeatedly points out the entry into the pretrial diversion program — in which defendants charged with certain offenses can pay a fee and do community service to avoid prosecution and a criminal record — is at his discretion.

Head also writes that Colotl, who was charged with a felony charge of making a false …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Cobb County D.A. says he’s done prosecuting Jessica Colotl »

Brian Kemp links Georgia Archives closing to illegal immigration bill

Because Georgia felt it necessary to seal off its borders from illegal immigrants, your access to state history will soon be sealed off, too.

That’s not my conclusion.

That was the connection drawn Wednesday by Secretary of State Brian Kemp as he explained why he decided to lay off seven archivists and close – except by Saturday appointment – the place where Georgia’s most treasured documents are kept.

Response to Kemp’s decision has been surprisingly strong. Minutes after our chat, 100 or librarians, archivists, historians and genealogists descended on the state Capitol in protest. Some called for his impeachment. My AJC colleague Kristina Torres has the details here.

While he has cited budget pressures created by the Great Recession, Kemp has never before pointed to the state’s efforts to combat illegal immigration as a factor in his decision to close the Georgia Archives.

The secretary of state is no fan of illegal immigration. He has no quarrel with state …

Continue reading Brian Kemp links Georgia Archives closing to illegal immigration bill »

Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney wouldn’t deport ‘dream’ immigrants

In Colorado for Wednesday’s debate, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that young illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits to stay in the country under a program established by President Barack Obama won’t be deported if he is elected. From the Denver Post:

“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”

This summer, the Obama administration instituted a program allowing young illegal immigrants, brought here as children by the parents, to obtain work permits. The policy paralleled the so-called “Dream Act” legislation that has encountered Republican opposition in Congress.

The newspaper also reported that Romney was “hazy” when it came to the future of Colorado’s …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Mitt Romney wouldn’t deport ‘dream’ immigrants »

Your morning jolt: An Obama victory could mean a GOP retreat on taxes

The Washington Post today connects the Nov. 6 election with the lame-duck session of Congress to follow:

Senior Republicans say they will be forced to retreat on taxes if President Obama wins a second term in November, clearing the biggest obstacle to a deal with Democrats to defuse a year-end budget bomb that threatens to rock the U.S. economy.

Republicans have long resisted tax increases of any kind. But taxes are a major battleground in the campaign between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Capitol Hill veterans say, and the victor will be able to claim a mandate for his policies.

“This is a referendum on taxes,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Budget Committee. “If the president wins reelection, taxes are going up” for the nation’s wealthiest households, and “there’s not a lot we can do about that.”

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss isn’t quoted, but the Gang of Six outline of what might happen, detailed in the Post piece, mirrors what …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: An Obama victory could mean a GOP retreat on taxes »

GALEO demands slice of voting power for Latinos in Gainesville

The state’s most active Latino organization has served notice that it intends to challenge the electoral system of the city of Gainesville, home to both the governor and lieutenant governor, for allegedly shutting Hispanics and other minorities out of local politics.

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials has sent a letter to Gainesville City Attorney James Palmour, informing him that it had retained legal counsel – Keegan Federal, the former DeKalb County judge – and wanted to negotiate a solution that would “avoid the expense of litigation which would be imposed on taxpayers in these already-difficult times.”

The issue GALEO is aiming at would be familiar to anyone who covered local government 30 or 40 years ago – Gainesville’s requirement that all members of its city council live in specific districts, but be elected citywide, rather than by single district itself.

Read Federal’s Aug. 21 letter in its entirety here. A few excerpts:

I want to …

Continue reading GALEO demands slice of voting power for Latinos in Gainesville »

Your morning jolt: One Fulton County precinct reports 23,300% voter turnout

Late Monday, Fulton County Elections Board certified ballots cast in last week’s primaries – becoming the last county in the state to do so. The board acknowledged some irregularities but declaring that no results were in doubt:

The Board directed its legal counsel to determine if there was any possibility that the misassignment of voters in the affected districts could have affected the outcome of any election. The answer was no. Using the most extreme assumptions, i.e., that every misallocated voter voted, and that they all voted for the second place candidate in both of the effected contested primary elections, the winning candidate would have still won with a majority of the vote.

In an interview with Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he would continue an investigation into the county’s performance:

Now, almost certainly this is a computer tabulation error, but one thing that Kemp might look at is Fulton County Precinct 1C2, …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: One Fulton County precinct reports 23,300% voter turnout »