Monday, July 25, 2011


Georgia restaurants report labor shortages after the anti immigration bill HB87 passed in Georgia. About half of the 523 restaurants who participated in a survey this month stated that they are having trouble finding workers. With Georgia's high unemployment rates it must be related to HB87. About 75% of the participants are located in the metro Atlanta area. 91% of the restaurants surveyed said they were opposed to Georgia's immigration bill. Not surprising if they cannot find workers to fill critical positions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In a good article for the Houston Chronicle, Kelly Conklin, a business owner talks about E-Verify, its inaccuracies and why it would be costly to small businesses. According to Georgia's HB87, E-Verify will be a must for all businesses with more than 11 employees next year.


According to HB87, Georgia mayors, county commissioners and business-license clerks may face $5,000 fines from a panel of state-sanctioned volunteers empowered to investigate complaints about compliance with HB87 with a new Immigration Enforcement Review Board.
This board is a first of its kind in the nation and no other state that passed immigration (or anti-immigration) laws has such a board. The Georgia board will be able to subpoena witnesses and strip funding from public bodies it finds have violated the law and levy fines against governments and individuals.
The Governor is working to appoint board members. If it will be the usual anti-immigrationists it will cost towns lots of money because they will have to defend non-issues in court. Another huge waste of public resources to solve a non-problem because there is no evidence that the state officials violate any immigration laws. Most likely they do not. But under HB87 they may still be investigated for it!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Executive Speaker Series
“How the Immigration Bill is Affecting Georgia”
Wednesday, July 20th
With the new Immigration Bill recently passed in Georgia, both business owners and employees should be aware of the changes associated with the new law. This is similar to the measures taken in Arizona and Utah that have drawn legal challenges and has been said to possibly be the toughest law in the nation.
Mrs. Lorraine Chilvers, of City Club of Buckhead’s Board of Governors, will moderate a discussion with Georgia’s top Immigration and Labor Attorneys as well as the Commissioner of Georgia Department of Labor.
Join us for an important discussion on how this law can affect you, your family and your business.
Featured Panelists:
Mr. Mark Butler—Commissioner of GA Department of Labor
Ms. Karen Weinstock—Managing Partner at Siskind Susser PC
$21 per person includes three-course luncheon, tax, gratuity, & parking. Seating is limited and reservations are required—(404) 442-2600.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Georgia’s agricultural industry is going to commission a study of the financial losses it suffered this year as a result of HB87 that in turn caused severe labor shortages.
The study will be due October 1 and will quantify the farmers’ losses. Many farmers complained that HB87 scared away the migrant workers (predominantly Hispanic ones) they depend on to pick their fruits and vegetables. The labor shortages could cost $300 million in crops at risk this year. A state survey of farmers released last month showed they had 11,080 jobs open.
I am not sure what the farmers hope to gain by this study. Even if the study shows severe financial loses, will Georgia's crazy Congress repeal HB87? Probably not.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Besha Rodell for Creative Loafing in Atlanta wrote an article about how HB87 affects the restaurant industry around the city. She contacted a number of people in the industry to find out what they thought the effects would be and people were obviously reluctant to talk to her. She received some responses off the record. It's worth reading:

Friday, July 8, 2011


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and a coalition of civil rights
groups including the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit today challenging Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB56, passed last month.
The Alabama law is even more restrictive than the Georgia law HB87 and the Arizona SB 1070. The Alabama law requires school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents (which is the most outrageous in the nation); authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops; and criminalizes Alabama residence for ordinary, everyday interactions with undocumented individuals.
The lawsuit claims that HB56 is unconstitutional in that it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters, in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; subjects Alabama residents to unlawful search and seizure, in violation of the Fourth Amendment; unlawfully deters immigrant families from enrolling their children in public schools; unconstitutionally bars many lawfully present immigrants from attending public colleges or universities in Alabama; and drastically restricts the right to enter into contracts.
If the federal judges there have any sense, they will block these parts from being implemented, similarly to the blocked parts in the Georgia and Arizona laws.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Georgia officials filed yesterday a notice of appeal of Judge Thrash's decision that blocked parts of HB87 (sections 7 and 8). The state of Georgia probably filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that is usually a very conservative court and favors the government -- which one in this case -- will they favor Georgia is a big question. On immigration matters the 11th Circuit has been known to rule in a different way than the 9th Circuit -- the only other high court that addressed the Arizona issue and refuse to rule against the circuit court judge. We'll wait and see how this develops...

Friday, July 1, 2011


Here are a few of my favorite quotes from judge Thrash’s 79-page decision issuing an injunction against Sections 7 and 8 of HB87:
“The widespread belief that the federal government is doing nothing about illegal immigration is the belief in a myth. Although the Defendants characterize federal enforcement as “passive,” that assertion has no basis in fact. On an average day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrest approximately 816 aliens for administrative immigration violations and remove approximately 912 aliens, including 456 criminal aliens, from the United States … In 2010, immigration offenses were prosecuted in federal court more than any other offense.”

“Of the 83,946 cases prosecuted under the federal sentencing guidelines, 28,504, or 34% involved immigration offenses. Id. In 2010, of 81,304 criminal cases prosecuted in federal court, 38,619 (47.5%) were non-United States citizens.”

“The federal government gives priority to prosecuting and removing illegal immigrants that are committing crimes in this country and to those who have previously been deported for serious criminal offenses such as drug trafficking and crimes of violence ... To the extent that federal officers and prosecutors have priorities that differ from those of local prosecutors, those priorities are part of the flexibility that “is a critical component of the statutory and regulatory framework” under which the federal government pursues the difficult (and often competing) objectives, of “protecting national security, protecting public safety, and securing the border.”

The state's "... claim that the new criminal statutes will prevent exploitation of illegal aliens is gross hypocrisy. The apparent legislative intent is to create such a climate of hostility, fear, mistrust, and insecurity that all illegal aliens will leave Georgia”.