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.