Monday, December 14, 2009


A juicier story than usually posted here -- the AJC reports that an Ellenwood, GA, couple named Juna Gwendolyn Babb, 54, and Michael J. Babb, 53, were indicted last week by the Federal authorities for conspiracy, forced labor and document servitude. The couple was accused of confiscating their domestic worker's passport and visa as well as hiding an undocumented worker for financial gain, the U.S. Department of Justice said. They were accused of convincing a woman to come to their home from the Kingdom of Swaziland by promising her a lucrative, short-term opportunity to provide catering services at the wedding of a family member. When she arrived, the couple took her passport and return airline ticket and told her that she needed to repay them for the cost of travel to the United States.
The woman was made to clean the homes of friends and associates of the Babbs and also help with Michael Babb's construction business, working long hours and either was not paid or received very little money, the DOJ said. If the accusations are true, I hope they get some decent time in jail.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Gwinnett Daily Post reports that the Grayson City Council voted Monday night to adopt a memorandum of agreement with the federal government to cooperate in a program which ensures that only qualified aliens or naturalized citizens can receive retirement, health and disability benefits, among others. Citizenship and immigration status information is verified under this program, called SAVE — Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements — mandated by the DHS and USCIS. Grayson will distribute affidavits to businesses so they can provide information on their employees applying for such benefits. Other applicant benefits include contracts, occupation tax certificates, and licenses for alcoholic beverages, taxi cabs, insurance companies and adult entertainment.
What remains to be seen is how the enforcement of this will happen and whether business will participate in answering these affidavits. It is easy to enforce on the licensing issue (we're not going to give you a license if you don't do it), but how is this going to apply for employers? Why would private sector employers take this hassle upon themselves to subject each of their employees to a SAVE check?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office is taking measures to start implementing its 287(g) program which will allow specially trained deputies to enforce federal immigration law.
The sheriff's office says deputies will be returning this weekend from training in Charleston, S.C., run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 18 trained deputies plan to start the program "in some capacity" on Monday.
Gwinnett's acceptance into the ICE 287(g) program was announced in July, and highly criticized by immigrant rights and civil liberties groups because the large majority of people seized and turned over to the deportation authorities are non-criminals with family or other ties in the U.S.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


ACLU of Georgia just issued a report named "Terror and isolation in Cobb: How Unchecked Police Power under 287(g) Has Torn Families Apart and Threatened Public Safety". This report really shows what's going on in Cobb County, Georgia after it started enforcing the immigration laws 2 years ago under the 287(g) program cooperating with ICE. The report also claims that immigrants have been unnecessarily detained under this program in Cobb County.
What a shocker! Everyone who practices immigration law knows about Cobb county's racial profiling, most commonly pulling people over who look Hispanic, ethnic or foreign born for nonexistent or minor traffic violations (such as broken tail light) and detaining them afterwards to be deported. This is of course illegal and unconstitutional practice but that apparently doesn't stop the Cobb county's Sheriff department! The report confirms this and outlines how families have been torn apart as non-criminals are arrested and deported. Dear Cobb County Sheriff, if you have so much disposable manpower, why hasn't Cobb County become safer over the last 2 years? Would you consider going after real criminals?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a Marietta driver's license examiner was charged with extortion and conspiracy for selling Georgia driver's licenses for $2,000 to illegal immigrants and others who didn't qualify for a license. Three additional men were also charged in connection with this scheme. According to officials, the Defendant, Gbemisola Wellington-Salako, issued approximately 40 bogus licenses between April 2008 and September 2009, including issuing licenses to a pair of undercover agents on Sept. 11, in exchange for $5,000. The Department of Drivers Services investigators joined with Immigration and Customs Enforcement fraud investigators to conduct the investigation.
While I agree with GBI director Vernon Keenan who said that sale of any government document to those who do not qualify is a major public safety issue, however in the state of Georgia that does not issue licenses to undocumented individuals who drive anyway on the road, the state creates a bigger public safety issue by preventing the issuance of drivers licenses them.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Gwinnett County, GA, is the recent Georgia county announcing that it will be conducting verification of legal immigration status for all applicants for business licenses in the County. It will be contacting more than 26,000 local businesses asking for the immigration status of the applicants for business licenses, including corporations, LLCs and partnerships registered in Gwinett county. The county will verify through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) electronic program, operated by the DHS. Now the only question is how many undocumented people applied for busienss licenses in Gwinnett, and why would an undocumented person apply for a business license in Gwinnett now?

Friday, July 31, 2009


Siskind Susser Immigration Lawyers attorneys Mikiel Davids and Karen Weinstock of the Atlanta office recently won a landmark case in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia against the U.S. Department of Labor. The court ordered DOL to immediately decide a pending PERM application (foreign labor certification) after finding the agency had unreasonably delayed in doing so. Our attorneys brought the case to federal court in order to ensure that the I-140 immigrant petition for their client could be filed with USCIS before the client’s son turned 21, after which point he would no longer be eligible to obtain a green card with the rest of his family. But the I-140 petition could not be filed until DOL decided the labor certification and the agency refused to expedite a decision on the pending PERM application on the basis of the plaintiff’s son’s “ageing out,” or for any reason, including the fact that the application had been pending 4 months beyond DOL’s stated processing times. To the knowledge of the Plaintiff’s attorneys, the victory secured in this case, Kumykov v. Carlson et al., is the first time that a court has ordered DOL to decide a permanent, foreign labor certification by a court imposed deadline. DOL complied with the court’s Order and approved the labor certification prior to the 21st birthday of the plaintiff’s son, allowing attorneys Karen Weinstock and Mikiel Davids to file the I-140 petition with USCIS in time to preserve the family’s ability to immigrate all together, thus preventing irreparable harm to the applicant and his family.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009


SB529 that was passed in 2006 is now "fully operational" and covers all of Georgia's public employers and government contractors or companies that contract with the state or county governments. SB529 or the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act requires all state and county employers, as well as subcontractors to use the web-based E-Verify system, which verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by connecting to Federal databases within the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. SB529 had a 3-year phaseout, starting with larger companies with over 100 employees, but now it covers all of the contractors or companies that contract with the state or county government to be registered for E-Verify. However, the state does not have any real power to enforce immigration compliance, which may only be enforced by the Federal government (DHS), so this bill will probably accomplish very little, if anything at all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The Cherokee Tribune reports that the Cherokee County, Georgia, government now
has access to the federal SAVE database (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) through an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to verify citizenship and immigration status information of non citizens and naturalized citizens applying for public benefits. This term is used very broadly, because non citizens do not qualify for public benefits at all. So, what does this mean? Cherokee county will use this database to check applicants for alcohol licenses, peddler/solicitor licenses, amusement activities licenses, occupational tax, pawnshop licenses, pool room licenses, massage practitioner licenses, precious metal dealer licenses, adult entertainment establishment licenses, ambulance franchise licenses, wrecker licenses and taxi/limousine licenses. The new verification process comes after anti-immigrant groups lobbied the Cherokee County board to restrict business activities of the immigrant population there. It is unclear how many immigrant will actually apply for such licenses, and when the county will recoup the approximate cost of $25,000 to implement the system.

Friday, June 26, 2009


WALB reports that many more Hispanic students are attending colleges in Georgia, many of them are first generation college students. Some colleges offer additional assistance to these students and their families by offering cultural bridging programs, such as home visits and preparation of parents. Hispanics made up 4% of the state's college graduates in 2005, but that number is expected to jump to 24% in 2022 as the Hispanic population in Georgia increases substantially. Education is the key to full integration and professional success in the workplace and increasing one's pay for work.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Georgia Man Receives 21 Month Sentence and Fines for Immigrant Harboring

AP reports that Guo Hua Jiang recently pled guilty to a conspiracy to harbor and employ undocumented immigrants and received a 21 months prison sentence as well as a $75,000 fine in lieu of forfeiting two of the residences where the immigrants were housed. The immigrants are about to be deported. It is not clear what caused this investigation or which federal authorities got involved, because usually much larger networks are targeted by ICE.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Recent reports confirms that immigration judge William Cassidy in the immigration court in Atlanta, Georgia, deported a U.S. citizen to Mexico on December 9, 2008. The man, Mark Lyttle, is a U.S. citizen who was born in the U.S in North Carolina. According to reports he informed the immigration judge twice of this fact. Mark is bipolar according to some reports and does not speak Spanish at all... Unfortunately it appears this case was not handled well, and the immigration court in Atlanta, Georgia is known for a few "trigger happy" judges who think they still work for the immigration service or the prosecution.

Friday, May 29, 2009


According to the Associated Press (May 25, 2009), Rep. Deal (R-GA) decided to go against the constitution's 14th amendment which grants automatic citizenship to "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof", passed in 1868. Deal's proposal will allow automatic birth citizenship only if one parent is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or active member of the U.S. forces. The intention behind it is that automatic citizenship will no longer be granted to children of undocumented workers (although many of them have U.S. citizen spouses, in which case the child will be a citizen anyway even after this bill). It is also depriving all the children of legal immigrants, such as people here on valid work and study visas, asylees, refugees, etc., and require a birth record clerk in each state to know how to and verify the parents' immigration status.
This bill has no chance to pass, as it will take a constitutional amendment by a Democratic Congress, so I guess he really wants to rally the Republicans for his gubernatorial campaign. All in all, a really bad deal. Pun intended.


This blog is intended to cover immigration stories and news in the U.S. state of Georgia. Started from Atlanta, Georgia, the state capital. We welcome remarks and suggestions from our readers.
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