Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Thanks to the powerful presence and testimony of many educators, students, and other conscious Georgians, including immigration attorneys, the committee Chair in the Georgia House declared HB 59 to be suspended. HB59 was the bill proposed by anti-immigration Rep. Rice to deny any post-secondary education for undocumented students.
The good news of the day is that no vote was taken regarding this bill.
This is a great victory and we are so happy this is dead (at least for right now)!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A bill is going to be introduced in the Georgia House or Representative to rescind Georgia HB-87 – Georgia’s Anti-immigrant legislation. The "Rural Recovery Act of 2012" is designed to help Georgia's agricultural businesses to recover losses due to HB87.
State Representative Lynmore James, Democrat from Montezuma, said: "I am a Georgia farmer" and "I know that our families cannot afford to have politicians playing with their food. If we want good jobs and a stronger economy, the first step is repealing HB 87."
The other co-sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Pedro "Pete" Marin, Democrat from Duluth, announced a hearing and press conference unveiling the bill to be held on Thursday, January 26, at 2:30 PM in Room 216 of the Capitol. James and Marin will be joined by other members of the House Democratic Caucus for the occasion, and all will be available to answer questions.
People who can support this legislation to rescind HB87 should join the hearing to show their support for this important legislation. HB87 should be repealed.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) and David Wilkerson (D-Austell) who later joined her, are two Georgia State representatives who want to allow undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition to attend Georgia’s public universities.
They had a town hall meting after meeting with students at Pebblebrook High School who participated in a walk-out last year. Currently undocumented immigrants must pay out-of-state tuition based on a law the Georgia legislature passed last year.
'If you cut off that potential at the end of high school, and they have no other options, what are they supposed to do?' are some of Rep. Morgan's words. 'Where do they work? Where do they live? How do they pay taxes? How do they give back to society? These are kids who are brought here at 3 or 4 years old who consider themselves American by culture. They don’t know anything about the country that their parents are from. And so we’re penalizing these kids who have worked hard, who have gone through our school systems, who have earned their grades, and we are cutting them off in terms of college accessibility. We’re not asking for special privileges. They’ve been a resident.'
We all know this is the right thing to do (to accept this proposal obviously). Anyone except the Republican antis that control the Georgia Congress, one of whom has a proposal out at the legislature this year to prohibit all undocumented immigrants from attending any of Georgia's public universities and colleges even if they pay out-of-state tuition, a very expensive prospect for children most of whom lack financial backing of their parents. This is just mean, to say the least, but it may pass with all the antis we have here in the south.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


An update from the Immigration Policy Center on immigrant populations per states that the foreign-born share of Georgia’s population rose from 2.7% in 1990, to 7.1% in 2000, to 9.7% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Georgia had almost 1 Million immigrants in 2010, 35% of them were U.S. citizens by naturalization. More than 1 in 10 Georgians are Latino or Asian.
The Latino share of Georgia’s population grew from 1.7% in 1990, to 5.3% in 2000, to 8.8% (or just over 850,000 people) in 2010. The Asian share of the population grew from 1.1% in 1990, to 2.1% in 2000, to 3.3% (or just over 300,000 people) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
No wonder us immigration attorneys are so busy here in Georgia!
I do hope all the naturalized citizens will go to vote. It can really make a difference in the 2012 elections!
To see the full report, go to:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Great news from USCIS, not just in Georgia but anywhere in the United States. USCIS published in the Federal Register a rule that would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to process I-601 waivers, most commonly known as hardship waivers for their spouses or parents in advance of the family member leaving the country thus minimizing the time that family members would have to spend apart.
Right now the procedure is that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse first has to file the I-130 for their foreigner spouse, then the foreign national spouse has to leave the country, trigger the 10-year bar and take a risk at the consular interview that the waiver will not be granted and they will not be able to return to the U.S. for 10 years. Even in cases where the waiver is approved, in many cases it takes several months and in some cases over a year for USCIS overseas to process the waiver. This results in families being torn and many times losing their only source of income (many time the sole breadwinner is the one leaving). This new procedure will eliminate the need to be separated for a long time and someone will know in advance of leaving whether the waiver will be approved.
What USCIS will do is give a "provisional" approval in the U.S. and it will not be a final approval until the person departs the U.S. and applies for the immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her home country. Note that this only affects waivers for unlawful presence, not criminal and other grounds of inadmissibility.
This is great and encouraging news indeed and I hope USCIS will streamline the process.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Some Georgia lawmakers (yes, some antis again) want to ban undocumented immigrants from attending any public colleges and universities in the state. The Georgia Board of Regents already has barred undocumented immigrants from certain in-demand schools, such as Georgia Tech, Georgia State and UGA. For some anti-immigrants it is not enough and they want a law to ban them in all of Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities, and its 26 technical colleges.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brett Harrell, says taxpayers may be paying for the education because the tuition doesn’t cover all costs. Untruthful assertion because even the undocumented pay state taxes on housing and items that they purchase. Does Rep. Harrell also suggest to exempt undocumented immigrants from paying sales tax for example?
Also, why should young intelligent people be penalized for the sins of their parents? Many of these children were brought to the U.S. at a very young age by their parents. I guess Rep. Harrell is not a real Christian.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


HB87 came into effect on January 1, 2012 and counties now have to comply with it. It requires firms bidding for public contracts to submit affidavits that their employees are authorized to work here.
Counties now have to enforce affidavits regarding citizenship or legal status from anyone applying for a business license or alcohol license, that a company used E-verify, etc.
The municipalities are supposed to produce a report at the end of each year that identifies new license recipients and provides proof that they comply with the law. What good those reports will do if the license applicants lie on their affidavits?
Even though municipalities have prepared for the law for months, they still have lots of administrative concerns. The larger counties have larger staffs but significantly higher number of license applications, and the smaller counties do not have the staff to meet the additional work. Ridiculous on all grounds.