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.