Friday, March 30, 2012


At least some good news for now -- the legislative session in Georgia came to an end last night without the House having considered SB 458. As such, the proposal is dead, at least for now.
Great news that such a mean-spirited and idiotic piece of legislation is off the table for now and undocumented children can continue to go to public colleges in Georgia.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Georgia ranks sixth among states for the number of undocumented immigrants deported through Secure Communities, a federal fingerprint-sharing program now used in jails across the country.
Under Secure Communities, everyone booked into a jail is fingerprinted and those prints are checked against millions of others held in DHS databases.
As of November of 2009, 5,044 non-citizens have been deported or have voluntarily left the United States, according ICE numbers. Nearly half – or just a bit less than 2,000 involved people booked into Gwinnett County’s jail. Gwinnett ranks 16th for deportations among more than 2,100 counties that were participating in the program as of Jan. 31, according to ICE.
California holds the No. 1 spot among states with over 65,000 deportations, followed by Texas, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. Three quarters of all counties nationwide now use the program, and the goal is for it to be up in running in all counties nationwide by 2013.
Nationally, the largest single group of people deported through the system had committed the least serious offenses - misdemeanors or those punishable by less than one year behind bars, the records show. In Georgia, 34 percent of the inmates deported through the program were misdemeanor offenders. Only 19 percent (or minority) of those expelled had committed the most serious crimes, including murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor.

Friday, March 23, 2012


A national research association decided to move its 2013 annual convention out of Atlanta because it feared that international visitors and U.S. citizens of color among the 14,000-plus attendees might feel unwelcome due to Georgia's new immigration enforcement law HB87.
The arrangements to locate its annual meeting in Atlanta were made prior to the passage of HB 87, and the association has paid cancellation costs to the hotels at a substantial cost. It decided to move the conference to San Francisco.
Another loss for the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia from its bad piece of legislation HB87. The unintended consequences continue to pound a state that has not yet recovered from the recession. Bye bye tax revenues and spending of another 14,000 tourists.
See the full article at:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


After the Georgia House Hearing – An amended version of SB 458 was passed yesterday, adding back in the language defining public benefits to include public post-secondary education. Input at the hearing was ignored, education professionals were dismissed and a request for a fiscal note was rejected.

WHAT’S NEXT? The bill goes to the Rules (Calendar) Committee where it can be called for a floor vote in any of the next 5 working days. (Actually that’s all that is left of this session. Two more days this week, then three more as yet unscheduled days. Then it’s over.) CALLS /FAXES/EMAILS SHOULD GO TO THE GOVERNOR, SPEAKER OF HOUSE RALSTON, LT. GOVERNOR CAGLE, HOUSE CHAIRMAN OF RULES MEADOWS URGING THEM TO TABLE SB458. When or if there is a House floor vote and if the bill does pass, then it would go back to the Senate for agree/disagree to the House changes. With the short number of remaining days, please make calls or send faxes ASAP!

Governor Nathan Deal
404.656.1776 Phone
404.657.7332 Fax

Speaker of the House David Ralston
404.656.5020 Phone
404 656.5644 Fax

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle
404.656.5030 Phone
404.656.6739 Fax

Chairman of Rules (House) John Meadows
404.656.5141 Phone Atlanta
706.629.4441 Phone Calhoun
706.629.3631 Fax Calhoun

Friday, March 16, 2012


After all the hoopla around HB87 created Georgia's immigration enforcement review board, it finally received its first complaint against the city of Atlanta. Big surprise - it's the city with the largest budget in Georgia.
Anti-immigration activist D.A. King sent the complaint by email to the Immigration Enforcement Review Board in January. The complaint names Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and City Council members and states that a city ordinance violates HB87 by allowing people to use Mexican matricula consular ID cards in city government transactions. HB87 says city officials may not accept such ID cards when people apply for public benefits.
The city stated that its employees have been trained on what IDs are acceptable and the matricula consular is not one of the acceptable documents.
What a complete waste of the resources of the city of Atlanta and taxpayer's money. This is so ridiculous I cannot even come up with a written description on how ridiculous this Immigration Enforcement Review Board is, its powers, its members and its complaints.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Under President Obama's new proposal to sharply cut a federal program that partially reimburses states and counties for expenses of jailing undocumented immigrants, Georgia taxpayers would have to bear more of these costs.
Over the past three years, Georgia’s state prison system and local jails together have received about $10 million from the federal program for incarcerating thousands of undocumented people.
The Obama administration is proposing to cut $170 million from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program as part of the federal budget for next fiscal year, shrinking it to $70 million. This may actually be a blessing in disguise because the jail lobbying group is one of the largest supporters of immigration detention even for small offenses like traffic of undocumented immigrants. For example, Cobb County in Georgia received the fourth-largest amount of funding from the program in Georgia last year but also held over 60% of undocumented immigrants in jail over traffic and minor offenses. So if a county like Cobb wants to continue to jail people for no reason, they should do it on their own expense, not the federal government's expense, which currently does not want to deport people under these circumstances.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Finally some good news in Georgia for one undocumented immigrant. A Houston County, GA, jury decided yesterday that an undocumented immigrant named Jose Antonio Cua-Toc of Guatemala, who entered the country illegally in 2000 is the rightful owner of a $750,000 lottery ticket.
He filed the law suit against a business owner named Erick Cervantes claiming that the winnings from the Georgia Lottery were his, that he paid Cua-Toc $20 to purchase the ticket for him.
So, good news for one undocumented immigrant in Georgia - he won the law suit since the jury believed him.


After the immigrant haters in Georgia's Senate passed SB458 to prevent undocumented immigrants from attending any Georgia college or university,a study by the Chronicle for Higher Education states that in Georgia, an average of only 24 percent of entering college in the freshmen year get a degree within four years in Georgia’s public four-year colleges. This is well below the national average. Across Georgia, only 52 percent of students complete a four-year degree within six years.
A dim outlook over Georgia's college education for mostly U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. It is even more idiotic to deny public education to undocumented immigrants who have more of an incentive to graduate well. Our state needs more educated people, hopefully we will have some more educated people in the Georgia Senate and House in the future.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


The Georgia Senate just passed SB458 - a bill barring undocumented immigrants from attending any public universities in Georgia.
The Republicans sponsored this bill (of course), with sponsor in chief Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville. It passed the senate 34-19 yesterday.
Last year, the Georgia board of regents voted a measure to prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending the five of the most popular schools in cases they would be taking a slot that otherwise would go to a legal U.S. resident. These schools include UGA, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Georgia Health Sciences University and Georgia College and State University.
The bill's sponsors object to having taxpayers fund benefits for undocumented immigrants, even those who are not at fault for their situation because they were brought to the U.S. at a very young age by their parents and want to improve their lives by going to college. This bill is morally wrong but it did not stop these people from sponsoring it or signing it into law.
Denying students access to higher education will hurt us in the long run because the less educated the workers are, the less they usually make and less taxes they pay over their lifetime. We should support people trying to improve their lives by going to college. These students pay out of state tuition anyway so they pay a lot more (about 4 times as much) as an in-state applicant so the state is not subsidizing much, if any.
The bill now moves to the Georgia House of Representatives where it is likely to pass even though it should not pass, both for moral reasons and economic reasons. But that never stopped any politician from voting a bill into law.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments in the cases of Georgia's HB87 and Alabama's HB56 anti-immigration laws. The oral arguments took several hours and the court was very interested and engaged and the justices asked many thoughtful questions.
The court is not going to rule on this soon, but planning to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Arizona immigration law case. Arguments for that case are set for April 25.
It will be a while before we hear anything, and it all depends on the Supreme Court. The 11th Circuit cannot rule differently.