Monday, December 27, 2010


Outgoing Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said Wednesday at an interview to the Associate Press that his fellow Republicans need to choose their words carefully when it comes to the emotionally charged debate over immigration.
While Purdue declined to say whether he thought Georgia should adopt an Arizona-style immigration law, he said that his party needs to avoid 'a gang-type mentality' that could be harmful to those 'who want the American dream.'
Perdue was the governor who signed the law in 2006 checking on immigrants' status and was tough on immigration during his re-election campaign.
Now he said 'We can love all people while loving the law and expecting the law to be fulfilled and that's a tricky balance,' -- did he become softer on immigration? Does he actually love immigrants? I think that his implementation of these policies did not follow that "love".
On one point, I do agree with him, that: '(Immigration) is a very emotive, emotion-filled topic that I think sometimes gets us out there where our hearts really aren't,' as he said.
In the November 2 elections Republicans again took the majority in the GA house and senate -- and every single one of these majority elected officials is also a white male. Perdue said that over the long term that lack of diversity could pose a problem for the Republican Party in a state where minority populations are increasing: 'The Republican Party needs to be very, very careful that it maintains the golden rule in its rhetoric regarding immigration policy,' and added that the GOP needs to ensure that 'people of color and people who are not U.S.-born' feel welcome. Well, too little rhetoric, a bit too late... Why did he not advocate for immigrants' rights when he was acting governor?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Forsyth County, Georgia, has started implementing a Secure Communities program with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). This program shares biometrics information to identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the United States, who are booked into local law enforcement’s custody for a crime.
Previously, biometrics—fingerprints—taken of individuals charged with a crime and booked into custody were checked for criminal history information against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), and now these fingerprints will also be checked against the FBI criminal history records and the biometrics-based immigration records in DHS’s Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT).
Under the new system, if fingerprints match those of someone in DHS’ biometric system, the new automated process will notify ICE (which will then evaluate the case to determine the individual's immigration status and what enforcement steps should be taken). ICE will then respond with a priority placed on aliens convicted of the most serious crimes first—such as those with convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping. However, as we all know, many of the people being held with immigration holds are held for minor traffic offenses. Since ICE began using this information sharing capability in October 2008, immigration officers have removed from the United States more than 50,600 aliens convicted of a crime. But, ICE does not share with us what these crimes are (could be traffic offenses).


Minutes before the Georgia Legislature convenes, Democratic and Republican lawmakers spar over illegal immigration and how best to approach it in the state. The Republican lawmakers of course want to increase the state's tough anti-immigration policies. However, Democratic state lawmakers warned against any legislation that would scare immigrants away from Georgia and hurt the state’s economy, especially Georgia’s $65 billion agricultural industry, which relies heavily on immigrant workers.
Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, and Rep. Virgil Fludd, D-Tyrone, held a news conference warning against any legislation that would scare immigrants away from Georgia and hurt the state’s economy. They said: 'Ill-conceived anti-immigrant legislation won’t do that.' I completely agree.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Georgia lawmakers are considering adopting an Arizona-style law in Georgia, turning it to be one of the most aggressive anti-immigration states in the union. According to estimates, Georgia is Number 6 in the country with approximately 480,000 undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
According to a poll commissioned by the Georgia Newspaper Partnership, more than two-thirds of Georgians support restrictions similar to those enacted in Arizona, which is sad but not surprising because Georgians are very conservative (historically two thirds of Georgia voters are Republicans).
Georgia already has a few counties around the metro Atlanta area participating in the controversial 287(g) program, which include Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Hall and Whitfield.
The Georgia lawmakers already have pre-filed two bills — to prevent undocumented from attending Georgia’s public colleges and to block their employment by state and county governments.
Battling immigration is a priority for new Gov.-elect Nathan Deal and the new Georgia Congress. It is going to get even more ugly.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


A lobbying group for the Georgia farmers is trying to convince the state government to stay out of immigration law. Delegates for the Georgia Farm Bureau just voted yesterday to oppose any state immigration law that discriminates against farm workers and puts Georgia farmers at a disadvantage versus other farmers. This is the first time that the Georgia's farm bureau adopted an immigration policy directed at state government, however because these farmers are heavily dependent on immigrant labor and they cannot stay competitive with additional restrictions that the state intends to impose on them.

Monday, December 6, 2010


A new report released by the New York-based Institute for International Education shows that the economic impact of foreign college students in Georgia climbed 4.9 percent to $383.9 million during the 2009-10 school year on a similar rate of increase in students. The number of international students enrolled in Georgia universities also rose by 4.9 percent to 14,707 over the previous year, according to the annual Open Doors report.
According to the report, China was the largest origin nation, which for the first time came before India.
With 4,030, Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology) had the most foreign students, who spent more than $87.6 million on tuition, fees and living expenses in the state.
UGA had 1,843 students with a net impact of $37.9 million.
Emory University had 1,713, but its students spent significantly more because of the higher tuition rates and living expenses, with a net impact of $64.7 million.
Georgia State University hosted 1,408 foreign students who spent $34.5 million.
The economic impact figures, compiled by the organization NAFSA, only took into account spending that directly supported students' education. It didn't include a "multiplier effect" that would've also measured purchases of incidental items like lattes, clothing or plane tickets. International students are great economic business for Georgia.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Fox News Atlanta reports that Georgia is considering making it a crime to stop traffic to hire someone for day labor. State lawmakers are considering this preposterous measure as part of their battle with illegal immigration.
Last year the city of Atlanta decided to fine drivers for not pulling off the road and parking, before hiring day laborers. That is OK, because it disrupts traffic and increases chances of an accident. However state lawmakers that are consider creating a criminal offense for people who stop vehicles on the street for hiring day labor? Well that is a first. And not in a good way. The controversial Arizona law contained a portion that made it a crime to stop a vehicle for day laborers or for day laborers to get in a vehicle if those actions delay traffic. This section was not blocked by the federal judge. However, taking it to an unreasonable step as described above by the Georgia legislators is beyond absurd.

Monday, November 22, 2010


A large human rights group protested in South Georgia's detention center in Lumpkin, Georgia, known as Stewart detention center in support of undocumented immigrants held in that facility.
The group includes Georgia Detention Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, and sought to highlight the traumatic effects the prison is causing for immigrants' families, who may be separated for months at a time pending deportation hearings.
Court cases for inmates at Stewart are pending for 63 days on average, according to a recent study by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research organization that monitors the federal government, which is way too long. As of September 17, the center was holding 1,890 inmates.
While ICE claims that they are committed to smart and effective immigration enforcement that focuses first on convicted criminals who pose a threat to public safety, many of the Stewart detainees are non-criminals, and they are still detained in a federal prison with the general criminal population. It's really outrageous that non-criminals that have just crossed the border or overstayed their visa be detained for that long with general population prisoners.


Jessica Colotl, the undocumented student from Kennesaw State University who sparked a huge debate in Georgia was sentenced in state court to three days in jail and $1,000 fine after a jury found her guilty of driving without a license. Her lawyer will appeal. She was apprehended at the college and was turned over by the Cobb county police to be deported.
After much of a media frenzy, ICE agreed to stay her deportation until she graduates from college. Colotl plans to graduate this spring with a degree in political science and French minor.
Following these events, the university of Georgia system's Board of Regents was called to order to answer how an undocumented student pays in-state tuition for college. Also, many Georgia Republican legislators are now considering legislation to ban all undocumented from attending public universities even if they pay out-of-state tuition.
I'd like to end with a couple of things that Colotl said: "I truly believe that undocumented people who have been paying income taxes, don’t have a criminal record and are willing to pay a fine should be allowed to get into a line to become U.S. citizens ... Ultimately, I think this goes back to our history. It’s taxation without representation...we find a solution for our broken immigration system."
I agree.

Friday, November 19, 2010


As an example to the Immigration Policy Report demonstrating 287(g) program failures (difficult on ICE's resources and undermines ICE's own declared enforcement priorities), in Cobb County, Georgia, about 60 percent of the 3,159 inmates identified as being in the country illegally between January 2009 and March 2010 were there for traffic offenses (mostly for driving without a license, which one cannot get if they are in the country illegally). In Gwinnett, another 287(g) county, 42 percent of the 2,602 inmates that were transferred to ICE this year were jailed for traffic-related offenses. ICE's own stated policies are to apprehend the serious criminals first, not every person who is undocumented, however the facts prove otherwise -- that large numbers of people turned over to ICE by local police are just undocumented immigrants who have not broken the law or have very small traffic infractions.


The Immigration Policy Center released a special report examining ICE's enforcement priorities and the factors that undermine them, by Michele Waslin, Ph.D. The paper reviews the steps that ICE has taken in recent months to clarify its enforcement priorities and how those priorities are playing out nationally and in local communities.
The report concludes that the Obama administration, as part of its strategy to gain support for comprehensive immigration reform, has continually touted its enforcement accomplishments. Over the last two years, the Obama administration issued many press statements to demonstrate how it is committed to remove criminals and others who remain in the country without proper documentation. They have continued to use the enforcement programs of the Bush administration, including partnering with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify, detain, and deport immigrants (287(g) and the Secure Communities program). However, in doing so, they have lost the ability to fully control their own enforcement priorities and enforcement outcomes, and the results have demonstrated that the state and local partners are not necessarily committed to the same priorities. In other words, a large number of the people caught by local police are undocumented immigrants with no criminal background that as a consequence of their capture by local police are put into the system for deportation. This causes an inflation in the number of cases waiting for removal (increases the workload of ICE personnel) but does very little to combat the serious criminal offenders and absconders.
The report is available at:


A bill that would ban undocumented students from attending Georgia colleges was just introduced by Republican Rep. Tom Rice (R-Norcross). The proposed bill would add postsecondary education to a list of public benefits that will be subject to citizenship verification under immigration reform legislation already passed by Georgia lawmakers several years ago.
The University System of Georgia would be required to use the SAVE system to determine whether student applicants are in the U.S. legally.
The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents already approved a new policy last month to ensure that undocumented don’t take spots in state universities that would otherwise have gone to academically qualified legal citizens following the Jessica Colotl story.
But the policy didn’t satisfy those antis who want to ban all undocumented from attending state schools. Another hateful and ridiculous measure that the General Assembly would have to deal with during the 2011 session, which we hope will not see the light of day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


A recent report from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which examined the 287(g) program in Davidson County, TN between 2006-2007, found that the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs have not succeeded in prioritizing serious criminals. 287(g) is the program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that deputizes regular law enforcement officers to detain undocumented. A few of the Georgia counties participate in the 287(g) program, including Cobb and Gwinnett counties. ICE has justified the program by stating that it helps them target serious criminal offenders and deport them pursuant the ICE's priorities of removing criminal immigrants.
However, the report once again confirms that despite assertions from ICE, the local police officers continue to detain and deport people who have not committed serious crimes and present no threat to our communities.
Between May 2006 and July 2007, the percentage of Hispanics arrested for driving without a license in Davidson County, TN, increased by more than 20% (from 23.3% to 49.4%) while the number of non-Hispanic defendants declined by 25% (yet they claim no racial profiling). 85% of those processed through 287(g) were misdemeanor arrests, mainly traffic offenses. Only 1.3% of those arrested were gang members, none were suspected terrorists, and 60% had never been arrested previously.
According to ICE’s data, since the program was initiated, 28% of the people transferred to ICE custody have been non-criminals, and so far, in FY2010, 32% of individuals transferred to ICE custody have been non-criminals.
Obviously if so many non-criminals are processed through the system, ICE lacks the resources to adhere to their real priorities, such as detaining and removing the criminals. The report is no surprise -- just another confirmation that 287(g) doesn't really work to deport the real criminals but a bunch of non-criminals, traffic and misdemeanor offenders.
The full report is available at:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


An exclusive Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 WSB-TV investigation found non U.S. citizens who have voted in the Georgia elections, some more than once.
The prior system in Georgia that registered people to vote was flawed with problems.
Until recently, people who registered to vote in Georgia did not have to show proof that they were U.S. citizens. Some had to sign a form swearing they were, some were not asked. In August, the state changed the rules and now it verifies the citizenship status of all newly registered voters.
State officials say that they have fixed the problem for new voters, but it's impossible for them to stop them from voting today.
The Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees Georgia’s voter enrollment, does not know how many non-citizens are registered to vote.
The Secretary of State’s Office does not plan to confirm the citizenship of all those currently registered in the system because that would require permission from the U.S. Justice Department. The state officials confirmed that took them two years and a lawsuit for Georgia to get approval for its program verifying the citizenship of new voters, which is one of the toughest in the country.
The flawed registration program has caused in the past for mistakes such as even people who declared that they are non-citizens at the DMV, received voter registration cards from the state. Many of the non-citizens registered to vote or voted unbeknown to them that it was prohibited. Registering to vote or voting in a Federal election is a crime, which may also render a person deportable without relief, even if they did not know, and even if they are legally in the U.S., such as lawful permanent residents. A very hefty price to pay indeed.

Monday, November 1, 2010


A recently published study, “Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs”, published by two economics professors at Bocconi University in Italy and the University of California, Davis, concludes that the continuing arrival of immigrants to America is encouraging business activity, thereby producing more jobs.
The study notes that when companies move production offshore, they take away not only low-wage jobs but also many related jobs, which include high-skilled managers, tech repairmen and others. When companies hire immigrants even for low-wage jobs, they usually keep the operations in the United States, which includes many other positions. In fact, when immigrant workforce is rising as a share of employment in an economic sector, offshoring tends to be falling, and vice versa. Thus, offshoring is much worse to the American economy than immigrants, who create more jobs or keep more jobs here.
The study found that American economic sectors with larger exposure to immigrant workforce fared better in employment growth than those who had lesser exposure, even for low-skilled labor.
Even the lower-skilled immigrants fill gaps in American labor markets and generally enhance domestic business prospects rather than destroy jobs. That is because of the lower paid immigrants being “complementary” workers, who add value to the work of others. An immigrant will often take a job as a construction worker, a drywall installer, for example, while a native-born worker may end up being promoted to supervisor. Also, as immigrants succeed here, they help the U.S. develop stronger business relations with other counties (for example in Asia and Latin America), again creating more jobs.


A Republican representative (what else?), Tom Rice, R-Norcross, is preparing a bill to introduce to the Georgia General Assembly to bar undocumented immigrants from enrolling in any of the state’s public colleges and universities. The bill would add secondary education to the list of public benefits that would require citizenship verification under state law.
Earlier in October, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved several measures to ensure that undocumented would not take spots in state universities that would otherwise have gone to academically qualified legal citizens, including denying undocumented applicants to institutions that because of space limitations are turning away academically eligible students.
The schools that are included are The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College & State University.
Rep. Rice is still forging forward because in his opinion the board’s policy does not go far enough because doesn't completely shut down the ability of illegal immigrants to attend public colleges in Georgia. Does Rep. Rice plan to compensate the universities for missed funding if this were law?

Friday, October 29, 2010


A 14 member committee at the Georgia's legislators, comprised of Republican members of course has been charged with drafting legislation that would curb the flow of illegal immigration in Georgia. Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, and Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, are the co-chairman of the Joint House and Senate Study Committee on Immigration Reform.
This committee is expected to meet at least once more this year and propose a comprehensive anti-immigration bill before the next General Assembly session starts in January.
Georgia's (Republican) legislators are trying to curb illegal immigration by taking example out of the Arizona law, as both chairman stated they would probably come out with something similar to the Arizona law, even though they said they will come up with their own version. Obviously they are not bothered by the Arizona law's being unconstitutional and leading to racial profiling, or that a federal judge blocked most of the problematic sections from being executed after the Justice Department sued Arizona in Federal Court. They don't see is as a waste of their time and our limited resources either.
Committee members say they will consider a number of issues, including whether illegal immigrants should be banned from Georgia’s colleges (following the Colotl story).
The fearful anti immigration group also intends to look at the effects of birthright citizenship in Georgia --I am not sure if they want to change it but they probably should take a look at the 14th Amendment to the constitution of the United States granting U.S. citizenship to anyone who is born here. Anything they do against it will be struck down as unconstitutional even if they get it passed in the state's Congress.
This is part of the sad part of the Gubernatorial elections -- in that both Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal have said they would support an Arizona-style law in Georgia. I guess they are trying to win a popularity contest with the Georgia voters by finding easy to blame scapegoats. We'll know the results of the elections soon enough.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is really major news and welcome news for a change. New draft memorandum by USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas shows the director's support for major immigration policy changes by USCIS in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).
The memo contains outline to help thousands or maybe more -- of people out of status or people without other benefit potential under current policies and suggests that by policy interpretations, memorandums and tools like deferred action the agency can finally start helping people.
Among the provisions talked about are "deferred enforced departure" to potentially help those who otherwise might qualify for the DREAM Act as well as long time residents (those here since before 1996). Another one is allowing TPS applicants who entered without inspection to adjust their status, granting Public Interest Parole in certain circumstances for applicants who are eligible to adjust their status.
There are also legal immigration reforms - work authorization for certain H-4s, expanding the grace periods for non-immigrant visas, dual intent for most major non-immigrant categories (including O, P, E, and F), more premium processing categories, automatic extension of employment authorization documents of 240 days when applications to extend are timely filed and issuing two year EADs in more circumstances.
In addition, the automatic NTA (putting people in deportation proceedings) upon denial of immigration applications would also be significantly reduced under this schematic.
These changes would represent the most significant changes at USCIS in decades, at a time of tightened immigration policy. Hopefully, Mayorkas will get real back up from the White House in order to get these reforms through since it now looks like CIR is not happening any time soon.
USCIS has already commented that they will not comment on notional, pre-decisional memos, which are not binding or do not constitute official action or policy. We hope the director is successful in his efforts, these will be a very welcome change indeed from USCIS.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Today, Phoenix, Arizona United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton enjoined key sections of Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB 1070. The federal government sued Arizona in federal court trying to enjoin it from implementing the law, which among other reasons, focused on the separation of federal and state powers.
The judge in her decision acknowledged that the federal government has primary authority over making and enforcing immigration laws. While states have limited authority to enforce immigration laws, they cannot interfere with federal enforcement or undermine federal priorities. The judge also recognized the serious strain that the Arizona law would place on federal resources, which would detract from the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws in other states and target resources toward serious criminals. The decision acknowledges the complex nature of immigration law and the harmful consequences of local police attempting to make immigration determinations.
Arizona is all but sure to appeal to the 9th Circuit. While it's not really a Georgia issue, many politicians recently discussed trying to get the same law enacted in Georgia, so this is a huge victory on that front -- if the law is going to be stricken down in Arizona, there is little chance to its passing in Georgia.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A Columbus rally to support Arizona was held last Sunday at the Columbus Government Center. They have handed out a list of Arizona businesses for the buycott -- the Tea Party's movement that encourages people to buy products from a specific source to show support. In this case they have shown solidarity with Arizona's new immigration law.
Hopefully the Arizona law will be repealed or at least injunction will be issue by the District court in the suit filed by the Justice Department against its implementation, which will take away from all the Arizona law talk in Georgia.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Georgia's republican candidates for governor are hitting the immigration issue left and right. Well, mostly to the right that is. At debates and forums, on their websites and in TV ads, the four top contenders in the GOP primary say they would support a tough immigration law like the one that recently passed in Arizona. All of them are also calling on state college administrators to make sure no illegal immigrants attend state schools.
Nathan Deal would put into law legislation similar to what passed in Arizona.
Karen Handel thinks we should check the legal status of students, and that those who are not here legally should be removed from school and should be sent back to their country of origin -- by whom she is not stating but maybe she is suggesting that the public universities now enforce our immigration laws?
Former state Sen. Eric Johnson earlier this month unveiled a proposal that would require elementary and secondary schools to collect citizenship data on enrolling students and also would require public hospitals to find out which patients are in the country legally. Apart from being unconstitutional, does he expect those people collecting the data to be able to understand the various legal statuses?
At least about this recent proposal Deal has said teachers and hospitals shouldn't be dragged into enforcement of immigration laws.
John Oxendine has said he will work with the state's next attorney general to sue the federal government to recoup prison and other costs incurred by the state for the detention of any illegal immigrant. His reasoning for that is that states wouldn't have to bear those costs if the federal government had effectively done its job of keeping illegal immigrants out. Such a measure is doomed to fail and will just cost us taxpayers more money.
All these candidates agree that Georgia needs to do more if the federal government does not enforce immigration laws. The justice department just sued Arizona over the implementation of the law, and we'll have to see how that goes.
What a sad state of affairs for Georgia and Georgians...

Monday, June 21, 2010


Georgia GOP Senators and Gubernatorial candidates propose legislation to prohibit undocumented students from registering in state higher education facilities altogether -- whether or not they pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.
14 GOP state senators wrote a letter to the Board of Regents last Wednesday claiming that persons not lawfully in the country are not eligible to attend taxpayer supported colleges and universities in Georgia, regardless of their tuition rates. Their claim is that out-of-state tuition does not cover the full costs of a student's education at a public university, so even for those who pay those higher fees, their attendance would still be subsidized by taxpayers.
Gubernatorial candidates Eric Johnson, Nathan Deal, John Oxendine and Karen Handel confirmed through their spokespersons that they support this action.
At least one milder view was presented by David Poythress, another candidate, who said that illegal immigrants should not receive in-state tuition, but that the Board of Regents should not enforce federal immigration laws like any other private industry.
The entire debate exploded after the Jessica Colotl story (the girl found in Kennesaw state driving without legal status), and the anti-immigrationists are just taking it too far.
While I do agree that the first spots at any college or university should go to U.S. citizens or legal residents, there are simply not enough of them to fill all the slots in these universities. Doing so would just lower the admission standards to state universities and colleges and they should not do it in order to maintain their good educational levels. Alternatively, enrollment would be much less - and would be adversely affected even with the increase to out-of-state costs which will present a price-prohibitive barrier for many.
In addition, even illegal residents pay state taxes such as property taxes, sales taxes, etc., so they contribute to the tax base in the state. Do these people think it would be better for these students to be out on the streets, getting into the job market or gravitating towards criminal activity instead of educating themselves? We have enough uneducated citizens here in Georgia, and anyone who wants to go to college has a much greater potential to contribute to the state, not diminishing from it.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has spoken to Fox Atlanta in support of allowing Jessica Colotl to finish her degree at Kennesaw State University, as long as she pays out-of-state tuition.
He also said it is important that officials operate with compassion when it comes to immigration decision.
Finally, one reasonable voice among the Georgia Republicans. Too bad the gubernatorial candidates are not as compassionate.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This past Saturday night, 4 GOP candidates for the position of Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, Eric Johnson, Karen Handel and John Oxendine discussed the heated immigration debate at the top of the agenda.
All of the candidates supported the Arizona legislation and said that if elected they would follow the same -- saying things like it's a duty for all law enforcement officers to enforce the law, or things of this nature. Handel stated that under no circumstances illegal immigrant should be able to benefit or use state services.
Well, great rhetoric maybe targeted towards a GOP audience -- after all Georgia is a very conservative state with Federal and state elections going about 70% towards Republicans. So that is not surprising. The surprising part is the uniformity of all these four candidates about the issue and the lack of understanding of the details involving this sensitive issue. But I guess that's not surprising coming from politicians either...

Friday, May 21, 2010

RESEARCH SHOWS IMMIGRANTS DON'T TAKE JOBS FROM AMERICANS has gathered a lot of academic research that shows that immigrants (even undocumented workers) do not take jobs from Americans. The opposite is true -- according to most economists and unbiased research tanks.
According to the publication, immigrant workers create almost as many jobs as they occupy and maybe more - including things they buy, that increases the demand for goods and services, and thus contributes to the economy, in turn increasing the demand for labor.
Beyond all the hate and rhetoric of the anti-immigration vocal groups, the facts are available at:

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Following the events in Cobb county, where Jessica Colotl, a Kennesaw State University was cited for a traffic ticket and discovered to be in the country unlawfully, the heated debate continues. Cobb is a source of heat and tension in the immigration debate.
Many political candidates are adding fuel to the flame by blaming the school and the board of regents from accepting Colotl into school and allowing her to pay in state tuition (savings of about $6,000 per year). More extreme politicians are demanding that the Georgia universities will now check immigration status of all students enrolled -- about 300,000 of them...
It's not illegal -- but it's actually legal (under both U.S. and Georgia law) for colleges to admit and enroll students who do not have legal immigration status. It doesn't appear that Colotl received any federal or state financial aid, so what do they really want from her? There is really no statistic about it but the numbers of undocumented students in public higher education are very small, and there is no evidence that they are crowding out U.S. citizens. Enrolling anyone into higher education is a good thing, not bad!
If all the hate and anger could be channeled towards solving the problem - which is our country's broken immigration system -- at least something good could be achieved, but unfortunately the angry haters don't have too many positive thoughts...

Friday, May 14, 2010


In yet another Cobb county story to hit the news, it appears the Cobb county police is again focusing on chasing after the undocumented. The story was published online at the Marietta Daily Journal, at
They are looking for a Kennesaw State University student Jessica Colotl, who apparently arrived to the U.S. at age 7, with her parents, undocumented from Mexico. She was stopped for a traffic violation at KSU's campus on March 29 and cited for impeding the flow of traffic. She was arrested the following day when she could not present a valid driver's license. After her booking, she was reported to the immigration authorities, but released on May 5th by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement which agreed to defer action against her for one year so she could return to her university studies.
According to the Cobb authorities, she provided them with false immigration information, so they are after her for this (potentially a felony).
The story sparked debates and angry blogs from anti-immigration individuals and advocates, including Sam Olens who is running for state attorney general that suggested that every individual receiving the HOPE scholarship or in-state tuition would have to prove he or she is legally in the U.S. Colotl apparently graduated DeKalb county school with a 3.8 GPA, a very good student.
KSU President Dr. Dan Papp, wrote a letter for Colotl that he requests that she provided every opportunity to stay at KSU. Now angry groups are calling to fire him. What a disgrace! An educator who supports an individual pursuing higher education should be commanded, not reprimanded!
It is also another example of the unfortunate circumstances where Cobb county officials waste so much efforts going after undocumented. It doesn't make me feel safer against real criminal, just contributes to a feeling of wasting police resources to deal with minor offenses.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Douglas County, Georgia, started to implement this week a requirement for everyone who benefits from local government to sign a notarized statement that they are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. This change includes local businesses, employees and jail inmates -- yes that is correct folks -- jail inmates are considered receiving a benefit (although if you ask them I am sure they would not agree as such).
These letters are being sent to vendors, those who have contracts with the county, and those who have an alcohol license with the county, and county employees and pension receivers will also have to sign these affidavits.
Further, the county will check nationality of all prisoners that are held in a county or municipal jail charged with a felony, DUI, driving without a license, or misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. I never would have guessed that driving without a license was such a high aggravated crime or equal to such...
Douglas County reasoned that the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act expanded its definition of an 'applicant' to the SAVE program requirement to include 'any natural person making a request for public benefits on behalf of an individual, business, corporation, partnership or other entity.' I still don't understand how a business license or alcohol license is a public benefit (except for the tax dollars that the county collects) or how crazy a jail inmate would actually have to be making a request for the wonderful public benefits of his or her own incarceration.

Friday, April 2, 2010


A bill sponsored by State Senator Jack Murphy (R) just passed the Georgia Senate this week, which would make English the only language that someone can use to get a license. Currently, the Georgia driver's license exam can be taken in 13 languages.
Murphy, the chairman of the Public Safety Committee used the excuse of a "safety issue" stating that driver's that can't read road signs pose a danger to everyone. However, no data or evidence was provided to support this claim. People who speak a foreign language are competent in understanding the road signs, same as illiterate people. The only difference is in taking the exam and answering questions in English to sentences that they do not understand, not failure to recognize road signs.
As critics rightly point out, the bill is anti-immigrant and could stunt economic development. The critics, who call it the "Kia Go Home Bill", tie it to the Korean automaker that opened up a manufacturing plant in Georgia with a billion dollars investment, and has a sizable Korean workforce.
SB67 was actually proposed during the last legislative session but did not pass. During a surprise resurgence of this bill, without putting it on the calendar, Murphy succeeded in back dooring these amendments.
The bill only affects permanent residents and exempt temporary license seekers. The bill does not account for illiterate Georgians. If permanent residents who legally reside in the country indefinitely cannot pass the driver's license test, the reality of the situation is that many will drive without a license, thereby not being able to obtain insurance, and will pose a greater risk to all Georgians driving on the road. I sincerely hope the governor will veto the bill, although I doubt it based on his personal history.

Monday, March 22, 2010


A new bill proposed by Rep. Bobby Reese wants to mount additional cumbersome requirements on all businesses in Georgia by requiring all of them to participate in the E-Verify program administered by DHS.
The bill, House Bill 1259, known as The Georgia Employer and Worker Protection Act of 2010, was suggested under guise of protecting American workers. I doubt that is the true intention behind the bill, but even if it is, will do very little, if any, to protect American workers, while increasing paperwork and administration burden and costs on employers.
It was recently reported that the E-Verify system is still wrought with inaccuracies, up to 54% of the time when dealing with legal employees (such as U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents). When such a person gets a negative hit, they may be rejected employment or run around between different government agencies (such as the Social Security Administration) to figure out where the mistake is. Under current conditions, it is more likely that a lawful person will be rejected from employment than someone without authorization to be accepted to work.
It is ironic that the Republicans, who are supposed to be advocating for free business and less government intervention, are actually acting contrary to those fundamental beliefs when it comes to immigration.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Cobb County Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smyrna) has asked Cobb county and federal prosecutors (U.S. attorney) to open a grand jury investigation into allegations that undocumented workers were employed at the construction site of the Cobb County Superior Courthouse.

Lots of hoopla and written requests for grand jury investigation by this Democrat, who is running for Attorney General against a Republican, and probably wants to seem tough on immigration enforcement in order to obtain the support of some voters and groups.

Why isn't such a big deal made in the news about the serious crimes?

Monday, February 15, 2010


The irony is now on Cobb County, GA, one of the most anti-immigrant counties in the state, and one of the first to implement 287(g). It appears that one of the sub-contractors used on a project to build the new $63 Million Cobb County Courthouse has been found to employ undocumented workers.
The state law (SB 529), which requires companies and contractors for the Georgia government to utilize E-Verify does not apply to sub-sub contractors or indirect contractors.
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, Cobb County Chairman Sam Olens stated that they followed the law and that they also asked federal immigration officials to investigate the matter, whether anyone should be criminally prosecuted.
Lots of noise is generated by Cobb County, probably to divert from the fact that the joke is on them.

Monday, February 1, 2010


A short time after Gwinnett county started to implement its 287(g) program, the Gwinnett Daily Post reports the following statistics regarding its detainees on immigration charges:
• 178 driver’s license charges
• 62 DUIs
• 58 felony drug charges
• 15 aggravated assaults
• 13 sex crimes
• 45 batteries
• 23 robberies and burglaries
While there are other "miscellaneous" charges for the immigrant detainees, it is clear from the list above that the vast majority of these detainees are detained for minor driving offenses and not for real crimes.
287(g) was intended to target serious criminal offenses, not to deport immigrants for minor traffic offenses, such as driving without a license or speeding. I doubt that the Gwinnett police department doesn't have more serious criminals to go after.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


According to the new law which took effect on January 1, an owner or manager of a business must now file a notarized affidavit stating that he or she is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident in order to get a business license. Apparently, many citizens are calling the various finance departments inquiring about this. The immigration status is verified with the federal database. This is yet another example or an idiotic legislative burdening the vast majority of U.S. citizen business owners in Georgia using the excuse of immigration compliance. What a waste of resources.

Friday, January 8, 2010


House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rice, R-Norcross, clarifies and adds some enforcement provisions to Georgia's 2006 immigration reform act (called the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act). According to this law, all governments and official agencies in the state and their contractors have to use the "E-Verify" system to verify new hires eligibility to work. It also requires all local governments and agencies that administer public benefits to collect a sworn affidavit and use a federal database - the "SAVE" program - administered by DHS - to verify the eligibility of all applicants for those benefits. Last year House Bill 2 was passed because many of its applications were considered optional. The law now mandates to obey the first one. How this measure will curb illegal immigration is beyond my understanding, but at least our legislators here are keeping themselves legislating.