Thursday, July 26, 2012


There have been a number of news articles recently about the DREAM Act children. The Obama administration’s plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, undocumented immigrants who otherwise could be deported is a great step in the way to comprehensive immigration reform.
Critics say that this program may cost more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests. However, DHS plans to charge processing fees from each applicant to offset the cost of the program. Starting August 15, eligible people can start applying for this special permit.
Eligible immigrants must have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, are 30 or younger, have been living here at least five years, are in school or graduated or served in the military. They also must not have a criminal record or otherwise pose a safety threat.
They can apply to stay in the country and be granted a work permit for two years, but they would not be granted a legal status, permanent residency or path to citizenship. DHS continues to reiterate that this will be a fee driven process that pays for itself and will not use taxpayer dollars, as most of USCIS budget does come from application fees it collects for immigration benefits.
Now the critics (mostly Republicans who hate immigrants such as Lamar Smith, R-TX, House Judiciary Committee Chairman) object to granting fee waiver to eligible people. They say that depending on how many applicants don’t pay, the government could lose between $19 million and $121 million. By the way Rep. Smith was responsible to enact the 1996 IIRIRA law that in large part created the problem of mass numbers of undocumented people we have today.
The government estimated that about one million applicants may apply and about 15%-20% of those will be denied. New information about the program should be available by Aug. 1.
 However, what the critics do not take into consideration is the cost of deportation proceedings against all these people and the cost of removal itself, which is very very expensive. There is the cost of maintaining jails, cost of ICE agents, cost of ICE attorneys in court, cost of immigration judges, plane tickets to remove people to their home country and ancillary costs associated with the deportation process that are much more expensive. The costs are one part of the equation but should not be a major part since after all this is people's lives that we are talking about.

Friday, July 13, 2012


D.A. King, an anti-immigration activist in Cobb county Georgia wants the county commissioners to require all businesses that work for the county to be IMAGE certified. This is insane. In May, Cobb became the first county in Georgia to join the IMAGE program (ICE's Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers). Under IMAGE, employment records of Cobb county employees to audit by ICE to ensure they are legally permitted to work here.
While E-Verify is conducting checks for new hires only, IMAGE is looking back at people already employed as well. Crazy King said he got phone calls from Americans saying they can't get a job in Cobb County in construction because illegal immigrants are taken them. Apparently these phone calls are proof enough for King, plus, I haven't heard of a single construction employee that is working for Cobb county.
Cobb county Chairman Tim Lee and east Cobb commissioner Bob Ott say that will take some time to implement for contractors. The proposed code amendment requiring all businesses that perform work for the county — which in 2011 totaled 4,600 different firms — likely won’t be ready until January. So instead of taxpayer dollars going to support the good, they are now going to be wasted on IMAGE checks which I am sure many firm will not want to do, for various legitimate reasons.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The city of Vidalia denies charges that it gives undocumented immigrants safe harbor by allowing them to live, travel and work in the city. This was a ridiculous complaint from the get-go anyway but the state's new Immigration Enforcement Review Board needed to do something other than just have meetings about nothing.
 A Twin City resident named Michael Dale with a history of filing complaints about illegal immigrants filed the charges with the board. He accused Vidalia Mayor Ronnie Dixon and Lark Builder's owner Bob Moore of having an unwritten policy that allows Lark's immigrant employees who are arrested to be released and allowed to return to work.
What cause this nonsense? Well, one explanation is an unemployed guy that wants the undocumented workers to be fired. What he does not realize is that they did not cause him to get a fired and be out of a job. He really needs to find someone else to blame and stop wasting our taxpayers money for a wild goose chase.


The DeKalb County School District has just revised its policy on immigrants. This is good news for many undocumented immigrants studying there. The new policy, approved by the school board Monday, says officials shall not inquire about the legal status of immigrants and non-visa holders. The old policy defined foreign students, but did not address their legal status. All five present members of the school board voted for the change, which was recommended as part of a comprehensive policy review. Great news that the DeKalb county school system follows Plyler v. Doe and other federal statutes - that decision basically says that schools must accept undocumented students in K12 education without regard to their immigration status.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Attorneys from both Georgia and plaintiffs, civil rights groups, filed additional papers with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after the U.S. Supreme Court gave its decision in the Arizona case. Georgia argued in its papers that HB87 should be upheld and police checks would still be permitted by Georgia police. However, Alabama conceded that parts of its law similar to the Arizona statute were blocked by the Supreme Court decision while saying other sections should be allowed to take effect, including a provision that requires public schools to check students' citizenship status. The 11th Circuit temporary injunction over Georgia's HB87 and Alabama's HB56 is still in effect until there is a final ruling from the court. Georgia's law would authorize law enforcement officers to try to verify a suspect's immigration status during an investigation if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed a criminal violation. Even if upheld how, this could be struck later on by the courts if people can prove they are enforced in a way that leads to racial profiling.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Surprise surprise... Not! A year after HB87 Georgia farmers are still suffering a shortage of agricultural workers. The law basically took away seasonal workers they desperately need. Many farmers are facing problems that may cause them to lose entire crops. Many migrant workers left the state never to return, and others did not stop by Georgia on their way to other states such as Florida. One solution they were offered was probation workers who could come in and help them harvest. That did not help because probationers refused the work. Now some inmates are helping but the problem is in the learning curve. The migrant workers are very skilled and can do the tasks much quicker than the other workers and in farming time is of the essence. A lot of money is going to be wasted and a lot of crop may be gone this year.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Georgia Immigration Review Board that oversees enforcement of Georgia's immigration laws says it will investigate a complaint that the city of Vidalia is harboring undocumented workers. Members of the state Immigration Enforcement Review Board voted unanimously last Friday to look into accusations by Michael Dale Smith of Twin City. He says officials in Vidalia, home of Georgia's famous sweet onion crop, are giving illegal immigrants safe harbor by allowing them to work and live in the city limits. City officials deny his allegations. Last time I checked a city in the United States or Georgia for that matter is not authorized to check the immigration status of people who live there or work there, only people they employ.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that several board members sounded skeptical about Smith's complaint. Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, a panel member, said he feared the board was being asked to 'chase rabbits.' If that is not a bad use of our taxpayer money I do not know what is. This is so ridiculous it is beyond my capacity to describe it in words.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


While I was out of the country last week, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down these provisions of the Arizona anti-immigration law SB1070 as being preempted by federal law: 1) the provision requiring immigrants to carry registration papers; 2) the provision prohibiting immigrants who are not in the country legally to seek work in the State; and 3) the provision allowing police to stop and arrest someone they suspect of being illegally here (AKA "Driving While Hispanic"). The Supreme Court did not strike down the provision requiring police to try to ascertain the immigration status of anyone they arrest after they have probable cause to arrest them, because it said it needs to be “tested” in state court. That essentially means they need to see it in practice to see if it violates any constitutional rights or conflicts with federal law. That part is the real “show me your papers” provision because that is what leads to racial profiling. They are not allowed to stop someone just because they suspect they are illegally here, but once they have stopped someone (for example for speeding or another offense) they can inquire into their immigration status. This is a similar provision to the Georgia law. So “show me your papers” is not dead, only half way dead. It will go into effect partly as described above, but it still could be struck down later. The Supreme Court's decision is a lot better than what everyone was predicting. It is really key that the Supreme Court found all of those other provisions preempted by federal law. It’s also a big win for Obama, which he sorely needs to get re-elected.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


From the business journal in Washington DC, more proof to what we have been saying all along that the H-1B visa cap needs to be thrown out the windows and additional options for foreign-born entrepreneurs:

More than 76 percent of the patents awarded to the nation’s top 10 research universities last year had a foreign-born scientist listed as an inventor. That’s according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, which analyzed 1,500 patents awarded in 2011 to the top 10 patent-producing universities in the U.S. The organization, which is composed of mayors and business leaders, contends this finding demonstrates the need to reform our immigration policies to allow more of these foreign-born inventors to remain in the United States. Many of these inventors may end up leaving the country under current policies. The study found that 54 percent of the patents studied included foreign-born inventors who were students, post-doctoral researchers or staff researchers who were not professors. These foreign researchers are the “most likely to face major hurdles obtaining the visas needed to settle permanently in the United States,” according to the partnership. University research is important because it helps the U.S. stay ahead in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Universities receive one in six of all patents for molecular biology and microbiology, for example. Academic research institutions own more than one-third of patents in genetics. The partnership contends Congress should help the U.S. keep its research edge by passing legislation to: • Grant permanent residency -- green cards -- to foreign students who earn graduate degrees in STEM fields; • Create a Startup Visa for foreign-born entrepreneurs who want to start companies in the U.S.; and • Remove or at least raise the current cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, which are awarded to highly skilled foreigners who work in the U.S. These recommendations were seconded in a letter sent to the White House and Congress today by more than 80 university presidents. “If U.S. political leaders don’t reform the country’s broken immigration system soon, they risk jeopardizing one of the country’s biggest assets -- our ability to leverage our pre-eminent universities to attract talented foreigners and make them part of the great American success story,” the partnership’s report concludes.

The article is available at:

The report is available at: