Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Key sections of Georgia's anti-immigrant law HB87 are about to take effect on Sunday, January 1, 2012.
The E-Verify requirement is about to take effect on that date by requiring employers with more than 500 employees to participate in E-Verify to check employment eligibility of their new hires. Businesses that have 100-499 employees will be required to use E-Verify as of July 1, 2012 and companies with more than 10 employees are required to use E-verify by July 1, 2013. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are exempt under HB87.
For most small businesses it will be difficult to comply with the E-Verify requirements of training and administration and other than being cumbersome, it does not really prohibit unlawful workers from working.
Another section of HB87 that will take effect is that any agency administering public benefits must require each applicant to provide a "secure and verifiable document" of identity, which does not include most foreign documents. Will the abused undocumented immigrant women now have to go to private shelters rather than public ones?
Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


In case you think that those who say our restrictive immigration policies hurt America's ability to compete and generate good jobs are just spouting off unsubstantiated arguments, here is proof that they're right. From the Wall Street Journal:

Immigrants have started nearly half of America’s 50 top venture-funded companies and are key members of management or product development teams in almost 75 percent of those companies.

Those are the results of a new study by the National Foundation for American Policy, which cites the numbers in calling for changes to immigration policy to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to come to the United States and begin building companies.

Using the “Next Big Thing” list of Top 50 venture-funded companies published in March 2011 in The Wall Street Journal and compiled by research firm VentureSource, a unit of Journal owner News Corp., the research finds that 46 percent, or 23 out of 50, of the country’s top venture-funded companies had at least one immigrant founder.

The research also found that 37 of the top 50 companies, or 74 percent, had at least one immigrant helping the company grow and innovate by filling a key management or product development position. Chief technology officer, chief executive and vice president of engineering are the most common positions held by immigrants in the top 50 venture-backed companies.

The NFAP report notes that legislation is needed to ensure we continue to attract these business superstars. Unfortunately, we have a dysfunctional Congress where most members probably agree that we need changes to attract entrepreneurs but are so cowed by a tiny minority of antis that they're afraid to make even modest changes, much less do anything bold.

The study by the National Foundation of American Policy can be found at:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


HB87 and immigration overall was a key topic during the recent legislative session in Georgia. For next year's legislative session, not a lot is expected to happen on legislation on new immigration issues, although there are a few proposals that will probably be discussed at the beginning of next year.
Some Georgia lawmakers (predominantly Republicans) who voted for HB87 are feeling the pressure from voters and would like to ease the requirements to help farmers, but I am not sure how that will be possible unless they repeal the entire law. Secretary of State Brian Kemp has lobbied for changes to help him and his staff deal with difficulties in complying with HB87 while issuing and renewing professional or business licenses. He would like to check documents only when new license applications are received, not for renewals and also would like to check the documents in a percentage of the cases as an audit mechanism, not for everyone. Right now according to HB87 it has to be done for everyone and there is not enough staff to do it.
A couple of other bills that will be considered next year is a bill that would bar undocumented immigrants from all state colleges and universities, which could possibly pass. Another bill would would require primary and secondary schools and medical facilities to record the immigration status of students and patients, which is probably either not going to pass or if it does pass, would face constitutional challenges.
It appears that Georgia Republicans are even worse than Alabama Republicans when it comes to immigration. Some prominent Alabama Republicans including the attorney general for that state have called for changes to HB56 in light of the public outcry and constitutional challenges.
I guess Georgia lawmakers would have to wait until the Supremes decide the Arizona case.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


The U.S. Supreme Court granted Certiorari (a writ to hear the case) in the ongoing battle of state immigration laws. Arizona's SB1070 will be scrutinized by the highest court to determine whether some provisions are constitutional, for example the provisions requiring all immigrants to carry immigration papers, the provisions giving power to the police to arrest suspected undocumented immigrants without a warrant or probable cause.
I am sure this will also have effect on the Georgia immigration law HB87 and Alabama's HB56.
It will take a long time before a hearing is scheduled.

Friday, December 9, 2011


BIG news for our neighbors in Alabama. Fox Latino reports that "In the wake of growing criticism of Alabama's new immigration law business leaders, religious leaders and the federal government, the man who would be charged with defending the law in the courts, Alabama's attorney general Luther Strange, is suggesting that state lawmakers need to repeal some portions of the statute that have been put on hold by federal courts and to clarify others. In a letter to legislative leaders, Strange argued that the proposed changes would make the law easier to defend in court and would "remove burdens on law- abiding citizens." Strange recommended repealing a section that makes it a crime for an undocumented immigrant to fail to carry registration documents... He also suggested repealing the requirement that public schools collect information on the immigration status of students."
Yes, the Alabama law is bad, probably the worst in the country, and the legislature there is taking note. Too bad the Georgia legislators are standing idly by.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Interesting news item as the Iowa Republican party primaries are under way, a survey among among Iowa Republicans who are believed to be among the very conservatives in the country suggests most of them are in favor of immigration reform and are not in favor of kicking out the immigrants, even the undocumented ones. The survey was done in collaboration between the Partnership for a New American Economy and a group of prominent Iowa GOP leaders, and its conclusions were that most Iowa Republicans favor immigration reform. Immigration was not even among the top issues for likely Republican caucus goers. For them the main issue is fixing the economy.
72 percent are open to allowing foreign-born students educated in the United States enter the workforce after graduation.
71 percent are open to increasing opportunities for entrepreneurs from other countries to move to the U.S. to start a business here.
66 percent are open to increasing opportunities for high-skilled legal immigrants to enter the U.S. workforce.
64 percent are open to streamlining the process for employers to hire seasonal and permanent employees if U.S. citizens aren't there to fill vacant jobs.
Only 16 percent of these mostly conservative Republicans were opposed to pro-immigration reform proposals.
What does it say about Georgia Republicans and HB87?
The poll can be viewed at the following link: