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Rep. Ramsey gets his illegal immigrant bill signed into law

WIth several swift flicks of a pen, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal May 13 approved the immigration reforms negotiated in an eleventh-hour deal between the two chambers of the Georgia Legislature.

The measure is aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from gaining employment, and it also allows law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of persons being investigated for misdemeanor crimes and traffic stops.

Currently, the federal government is only deporting illegal immigrants arrested for felony offenses, but the checks will allow Georgia to get a more accurate handle on the problem, said the bill’s author, Republican Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City.

Critics have argued that the latter provision, extending the existing law that allows immigration checks for those booked on felony charges, will force illegal immigrants to flee the state. There have also been accusations from numerous fronts that the law is unconstitutional.

Regardless, Deal in a press release said Georgia has been paying the “enormous expense” for having the sixth-highest number of illegal residents in the United States.

“Those who claim that this law will have a negative financial impact on Georgia completely ignore the billions of dollars Georgians have spent on our schools, our hospitals, our courtrooms and our jails because of people who are in our state illegally,” Deal said in the release.

The provision of the bill aimed at eliminating illegal immigrants from gaining employment here will be enforced on companies with 10 or more employees, and the restrictions will first start on the largest companies, with smaller companies gradually phased-in.

The bill also is aimed at withholding public tax “benefits” from being spent on illegal immigrants, a whole laundry list of items including the following, according to a recent ruling from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office:

• Adult education;

• Business certificate, license or registration; also to include occupational and professional licenses;

• Health benefits;

• Medicaid;

• Housing allowance, grant, guarantee or loan;

• Disability assistance or insurance;

• Rent assistance or subsidy;

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);

• State identification card; and

• State grant or loan.

By federal law, Georgia cannot deny access to K-12 schools and also emergency medical care to illegal immigrants, he noted.

Ramsey said Georgia has nearly 500,000 illegal aliens. He has argued the bill is not only constitutional, but also “the strongest and most aggressive in the country.”

“This is not simply an immigration issues, but also a problem that burdens our state’s schools, healthcare system and law enforcement community,” Ramsey said in a written statement. “Georgia’s taxpayers have demanded action to enforce the rule of law and, where the federal government has failed, their state government has listened and delivered.”

The bill also creates worries of potential “very serious civil and human rights abuses that will also likely follow if HB87 is fully implemented,” said Jerry Gonzalez, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

Gonzalez, in a news release, also pointed to severe consequences to the state’s agriculture industry, which he said “relies heavily on undocumented immigrants for manual labor.”

“The intent of HB 87 is to spread fear and confusion within the immigrant community; with your help, that will not happen,” Gonzalez said as he directly addressed the Latino and immigrant community.



G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Gonzalez, in a news release, also pointed to severe consequences to the state’s agriculture industry, which he said “relies heavily on undocumented immigrants for manual labor.”[/quote]

I love how these people that support illegals continue to use this excuse. They ignore the fact that there is a law in place that will allow the agriculture industry to import workers if needed. The law is H-2A.

"Illegal" immigrants are needed in Georgia to do back breaking work in the fields that good Georgians do not want to do.

But if the "illegal" immigrants work in non-agricultural jobs, or open businesses, or study hard and want to go to a good Georgia public college or university, then Georgia and Ramsey wants them out of here. It does not matter how much they are contributing to the Georgia economy or how much Georgia will lose if the well educated "illegal" immigrant leaves, Georgia and Ramsey wants them out of here.

It is sad that Georgia and Ramsey have decided to follow Arizona down a path that most Americans reject.


PTC Observer's picture

"a path that most Americans reject."

Really? Can you refer us to this statistic and its source?

Cyclist's picture

That pretty much sums it up. If you are here illegally and get caught you get deported. It's that simple. As the President once said, we are a nation of laws.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

a law that would make people obey the laws we have re: illegal immigration. And I am really tired of people saying our whole economy would fall apart and the world would come to an end if illegals were not allowed to stay. Also, tired of the old saw that we must be racist for wanting people to obey our laws. There are many Latinos and other legal immigrants who feel as many of us do, come here legally and you will be welcomed, come here illegally and you should be sent back. RE: attending colleges, do you feel an illegal should come here, be allowed to attend a college and pay in-state taxes, while an American citizen from another state coming to school here would have to pay out-of-state taxes? or should a citizen of this country and resident of this state lose a slot in a school to an illegal alien? And one question I would really like someone to give me an honest answer to---does anyone really think that the illegals who now work in the agricultural, carpet, chicken, landscaping and other low paying positions they now fill because they cannot be hired elsewhere would continue in these positions once they were granted amnesty and allowed citizenship? Heck no--so we would be right back where we started---allowing more illegals into to fill those same positions. Where does it end?

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