State board that hears immigration complaints rules against Atlanta
Atlanta could face potential fines, sanctions related to vocal immigration critic’s complaint
REGINA WILLIS DEC. 1, 2016
Atlanta could face potential fines, sanctions related to vocal immigration critic’s complaintThe City of Atlanta could soon have a lot of paperwork on its hands thanks to a recent ruling by an obscure state panel that makes sure Georgia governments and agencies comply with the state’s immigration laws.
The Immigrant Enforcement Review Board, or IERB, is tasked with investigating and sanctioning government agencies, from state departments to local municipalities, for violating any of three laws passed as part of
House Bill 87, Georgia’s comprehensive and controversial immigration legislation which lawmakers approved in 2011.
The seven-person board holds meetings, can subpoena documents and witnesses, and is composed of political appointees, including a one-time lobbyist for anti-immigration group ProEnglish. In May 2014, the IERB threatened to fine DeKalb County $5,000 for not using an online program that checks immigration status for a summer program.
Under Georgia’s immigration law, cities are supposed to verify that business licenses are only given to citizens or residents who are “lawfully present” in the United States. For-profit businesses must submit the necessary documents every year, but nonprofits need only do so the first time they apply. Atlanta has never gone back to groups that applied with the city before the law went into effect in 2011 to obtain the relevant documents.
Angela Hinton, the city’s chief counsel,argued Atlanta’s case before the board at the Gold Dome on Nov. 10. She said nonprofits do not apply for their business license annually, so “there’s not an application. There’s not a requirement to resubmit yourself to the government.”
Without an application, Hinton argued, Atlanta has no legal reason to request the citizenship verification documents from a nonprofit applicant. New nonprofits would have to submit SAVE, eVerify, and secure and verifiable ID — the documents required to prove citizenship or immigration status — but older nonprofits have never gone through this process, Hinton said.
The board, however, disagreed with the city’s interpretation of the law. The crux of the debate is how city codes should be interpreted under state law and when a nonprofit is an “applicant for a public benefit.”
“What I see happening is, if we can redefine the word ‘application’ and thereby ‘applicant,’ that pretty much any entity in this state can somehow get out of compliance with a law whose intention was simply to protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that Georgia is not a comfortable place for people who are here illegally,” D.A. King, who filed the complaint, told the board on Nov. 10. His argument received vocal support from several members.
King leads the Dustin Inman Society, one of Georgia’s most vocal advocates for stronger immigration laws. He told Creative Loafing by email, “My hope is that the IERB will use all of its power to send a message to the other officials who are allowed to scoff at the law. Best case? Mayor Reed takes a heavy personal fine as the final authority in charge of what are admitted violations.”
King has filed seven of the eight complaints the board has received since it was created, including one against more than 1,200 local governments and agencies in Georgia, extending from the Abbeville Housing Authority to the City of Young Harris. The board did not take up that complaint, instead asking King to narrow down his complaint to one or two municipalities.
King was one of the key advocates for the passage of HB 87 and has faced criticism from organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, for his role in Georgia’s immigration debate and the language he’s used. The ADL in 2014 said “King has demonized immigrants through his bigoted statements” but “he continues to be a major player in the immigration debate in Georgia.”
“In the limited bubble-world of totalitarian progressives, borders, immigration laws, and advocates for an equal application of the law are attacked with the liberal goop of racism,” King said in response to critics. “Thanks to years of this race-baiting and these baseless attacks, the American people woke up, took a stand, and elected Donald Trump president.”
Modeled after Arizona’s controversial measure and sponsored by state Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, Georgia’s immigration law allowed police officers to question some people about their immigration status and set fines for people who assist undocumented immigrants, among other provisions.
Several sections of the law were eventually overturned by the courts, but the IERB, a late addition to the legislation that dominated the 2011 legislative session, and the rules they enforce, stuck around. Chuck Kuck, an Atlanta immigration lawyer and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association who vocally opposed HB 87, says the IERB is “the only part of [the law] that’s really functioned at all.”
The IERB will send the city a letter with its official ruling, and Atlanta officials might be looking at updating quite a bit of paperwork if they want to avoid potential sanctions. According to IERB Chair Ben Vinson, the city has 30 days to appeal or “alter their process to avoid any consequence.” The IERB would hear the appeal. If it disagrees and continues as usual, a sanction hearing would be held. A Reed spokeswoman said the city had not been served with a written decision from the board. “Once we receive a decision, we will consider all options and make a determination at that time,” she said.
NOTE: After this story went to press, Vinson sent the city a letter asking it to take “remedial action” and that includes “obtaining SAVE documentation from those nonprofit entities originally licensed” after the 2011 immigration law took effect. It’s also asking the city to provide information about the “total number of nonprofits” that might be included in that group so the IERB “might further consider all ramifications and remedial actions.” HERE
I put this together Sunday and sent it to the Georgia AG, Phil Kent a legislator and several other places. Instate tuition November 27, 2016 dak
1) DACA recipients are denied Obamacare by the feds. They are also not liable for the “no health insurance” penalty. This was a result of an interpretation of “lawfully present” by a federal agency.
Q: If a fed agency can make its own determination on benefits to DACA beneficiaries, why should state entities be denied that same avenue?
“Lawfully Present” Individuals Eligible under the Affordable Care Act
Last revised JULY 2016
“On August 30, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule excluding individuals granted deferred action under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) policy from the “lawfully present” definition, for purposes of PCIP eligibility. This policy, in effect, excludes this subgroup from eligibility for the health insurance exchanges and the premium tax credits. Individuals granted deferred action based on other administrative policies remain eligible as “lawfully present.” https://www.nilc.org/issues/health-care/lawfullypresent/ and many other sources.
2) DACA students are not eligible for federal student aid.
“If I have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), am I eligible for federal student aid?
Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, are not eligible for federal student aid, but you may still be eligible for state or college aid, in addition to private scholarships. Check with your college or career school’s financial aid office for more information.” https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/non-us-citizens#daca-eligibility
Q: Since instate tuition is treated as a public benefit because it is state “aid” – why should the Regents not have the same ability to decide on their interpretation of “lawfully present” regarding state aid to DACA recipients?
3) State law passed in 2008 refers to Title IV regulations when determining eligibility for non-citizens access to instate tuition. Please see page 3, SB 492 AP lines 11 -16. (OCGA 20-3-66) As is illustrated above, that does not include DACA or anyone in illegal status. DHS/USCIS makes it clear on deferred action on deportation: “Deferred action does not provide lawful status.”
Georgia Residency Requirements For State Programs at Private Instiutions
504.2. Ineligible Non-Citizens. “A student does not meet the citizenship requirements, for purposes of the State Programs, if he or she holds an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, a G series visa, or any other classification not included in the definition of an Eligible Non-Citizen in the Federal Title IV Regulations.”
“WHEREAS, it is a violation of federal law to bring in, harbor, shield from detection, transport, employ or encourage an unauthorized immigrant to remain in these United States or to engage in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts (8 U.S. Code § 1324); and…
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the federal and state government to enforce all existing immigration laws; and…”
RESOLUTIONS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, PASTORAL RESPONSE TO CULTURE, AND APPRECIATION APPROVED BY MESSENGERS AT ANNUAL MEETING
SAVANNAH — Georgia Baptist messengers approved two resolutions on illegal immigration and a Christian response to culture and one expressing gratitude to the host church and Association as they wound down their two-day annual meeting at Calvary Baptist Temple. The resolutions were approved on Nov. 15.
The Resolution on a Christian Response to Illegal Immigration was submitted by Brad Whitt, messenger from Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez.
The document walked the fine line between acknowledging “the federal government’s failure to fulfill its responsibility in the area of illegal immigration during both the Democratic and Republican administrations” and the biblical mandates to “not mistreat the alien living among you … act compassionately toward those who are in need … love our neighbors as ourselves … [and] do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”
—>The resolution acknowledged the government’s lack of enforcement that has “caused severe consternation among a sizable constituency of Americans and has led to the crisis we now face” and stated that it is a violation of federal law to “bring in, harbor, shield from detection, transport, employ or encourage an unauthorized immigrant to remain” in the nation.
The messengers, through the wording of the document, urged the U.S. Congress to seriously address the issue of a reported 12 million illegal immigrants living in the nation and to enforce all existing immigration laws.
It then urged Christians “to act redemptively and reach out to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all immigrants and within the law, to offer English As a Second Language and Citizenship classes … [and] make the most of the tremendous opportunity for evangelism, ministry, and discipleship …”
A second resolution on Pastors, Culture, and Christian Citizenship was submitted by Rusty Stewart, messenger from Poplar Springs North Baptist Church in Dublin.
The document took strong exception on a local Seventh-Day Adventist lay minister who was required to submit his sermons, notes, and transcripts – along with his ministerial credentials – to the State Attorney General within days of employment. Dr. Eric Walsh was then terminated within a week based on the content of those sermons.
The public outcry was so strong that the Attorney General’s office withdrew its request.
The resolution further stated that “ there is a great need for a new generation of pastors to take the lead in courageously confronting an American culture and government that is hurtling downward to new depths of moral decadence and for pastors to stand firm in the face of continued threats to the sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman, to the Biblical identity of men and women as they were created by God and the fundamental freedom to express our faith in the public arena. It concluded by calling on Gov. Nathan Deal’s newly appointed Attorney General, Chris Carr, to not only withdraw his legal demands with Dr. Walsh, but also settle the case, and refrain from allowing any other such cases to happen in Georgia.”
Messengers then urged pastors “to preach the whole counsel of God, not only passionately inviting people to Jesus, but also prophetically declaring biblical truth concerning the burning moral issues that are being debated in the culture and government without fear of government reprisals; and “we encourage pastors to model and promote informed and active Christian citizenship among the membership of our churches …”
A final resolution expressed a Resolution of Appreciation to Calvary Baptist Temple and the Savannah Baptist Association for its generous hosting of the annual meeting. Messengers also thanked President Thomas Hammond for this leadership and Georgia Baptist Convention Executive Director J. Robert White on his 24 years of service.
The resolution was submitted by the 2016 Committee on Resolutions.
On Immigration And The Gospel Phoenix, AZ – 2011 HERE
WHEREAS, The Kingdom of God is made up of persons from every tribe, tongue, nation, and language (Revelation 7:9); and
WHEREAS, Our ancestors in the faith were sojourners and aliens in the land of Egypt (Exodus 1:1-14; 1 Chronicles 16:19; Acts 7:6); and
WHEREAS, Our Lord Jesus Christ lived His childhood years as an immigrant and refugee (Matthew 2:13-23); and
WHEREAS, The Scriptures call us, in imitation of God Himself, to show compassion and justice for the sojourner and alien among us (Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Psalm 94:6; Jeremiah 7:6; Ezekiel 22:29; Zechariah 7:10); and
WHEREAS, The Great Commission compels us to take the gospel to the nations (Matthew 28:18-20), and the Great Commandment compels us to love our neighbor as self (Mark 12:30-31); and
WHEREAS, The gospel tells us that our response to the most vulnerable among us is a response to Jesus Himself (Matthew 25:40); and
WHEREAS, The Bible denounces the exploitation of workers and the mistreatment of the poor (Isaiah 3:15; Amos 4:1; James 5:4); and
WHEREAS, The United States of America is increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity, language, and culture; and
WHEREAS, Approximately 12 to 15 million undocumented immigrants live and work within our borders; and
WHEREAS, The relative invisibility of the immigrant population can lead to detrimental consequences in terms of health, education, and well-being, especially of children; and
WHEREAS, Recognizing that Romans 13:1-7 teaches us that the rule of law is an indispensable part of civil society and that Christians are under biblical mandate to respect the divinely-ordained institution of government and its just laws, that government has a duty to fulfill its ordained mandate, and that Christians have a right to expect the government to fulfill its ordained mandate to enforce those laws; and
WHEREAS, The governing authorities of a nation have the right and responsibility to maintain borders to protect the security of their citizens; and
WHEREAS, Undocumented immigrants are in violation of the law of the land; and
WHEREAS, Many of these persons, desiring a better future for themselves and their families, are fleeing brutal economic and political situations; and
WHEREAS, The issue of immigration has prompted often-rancorous debate in the American public square; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011, call on our churches to be the presence of Christ, in both proclamation and ministry, to all persons, regardless of country of origin or immigration status; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we declare that any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we deplore any bigotry or harassment against any persons, regardless of their country of origin or legal status; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to prioritize efforts to secure the borders and to hold businesses accountable for hiring practices as they relate to immigration status; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we ask our governing authorities to implement, with the borders secured, a just and compassionate path to legal status, with appropriate restitutionary measures, for those undocumented immigrants already living in our country; and be it further
RESOLVED, That this resolution is not to be construed as support for amnesty for any undocumented immigrant; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we pray for our churches to demonstrate the reconciliation of the Kingdom both in the verbal witness of our gospel and in the visible makeup of our congregations; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we affirm that while Southern Baptists, like other Americans, might disagree on how to achieve just and humane public policy objectives related to immigration, we agree that, when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to His church, the message, in every language and to every person, is “Whosoever will may come.”
Posted by Dyana Bagby on November 27, 2016.Officials: Officials: Georgia GOP needs to reach beyond white voters
Georgia Republicans should broaden their party’s appeal to Latinos, Asians and African Americans if they want to retain control of the governor’s mansion and the Legislature in the future, local political experts say.
“We need to reach out and work with people who aren’t Caucasian. It’s that simple,” said state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody). “We need to have a message that resonates with these people.”
State Sen. Fran Millar
Millar was re-elected Nov. 8 to a third term representing District 40, which covers portions of DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Although traditionally a Republican stronghold, the district’s demographics have changed dramatically in recent years as members of minority groups and transplants have moved to the suburbs.
Millar’s opponent, Tamara Johnson-Shealey, a Peachtree Corners Democrat who ran on a platform that included protecting voter rights and being supportive of immigrants, received 44 percent of the vote — two more points than she received when she ran against Millar two years ago.
“And she didn’t do anything. She ran a Facebook campaign and got 44 percent of the vote. That is an area of concern for me,” he said.
State Sen. Hunter Hill (R-Smyrna), whose district includes parts of Sandy Springs and Buckhead, won his re-election with only 52 percent of the vote over Democrat and political newcomer, community activist and pediatric dentist Jaha Howard.
And with Cobb and Gwinnett counties voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential race, Millar said state Republicans can no longer “take things for granted.”
“This is maybe a wake-up call,” he said.
Republicans did score a victory in House District 80, which includes Brookhaven and a slice of Sandy Springs, with Meagan Hanson defeating incumbent state Rep. Taylor Bennett by fewer than 300 of the 24,486 votes cast.
Joseph Knippenberg, a professor of politics at Brookhaven’s Oglethorpe University, said while Democrats like to claim HD 80 is a swing district, “it’s basically a Republican district” where “a generic Republican beats a generic Democrat for the time being.”
Knippenberg said Hill’s “near-death experience” is due to the rapidly changing demographics of his district and that some Republicans, such as Hill and Millar, can no longer waltz into office and will have to “break a sweat” in upcoming races and also reach out to minorities.
Millar, who voted for Trump, said the contentious president-elect might have played a role in hurting some local Republican candidates in the metro Atlanta suburbs, such as in Cobb and Gwinnett.
“For me, [voting for Trump] was about capitalism and the Supreme Court,” he said.
Millar denied criticisms that Trump ran a racist and anti-Semitic campaign and said “he’s not going to deport 10 million” undocumented immigrants like he promised throughout his campaign. Instead, Millar said he believes Trump and his administration will focus on health care, education, lowering taxes and transportation.
“For the things that are important to everyone, you have to offer a solution,” Millar said.
State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) ran unopposed in District 79, which includes portions of Chamblee and Doraville, cities known for their ethnic and racial diversity and immigrant populations. He agreed with Millar that this election might indeed be a wake-up call for state Republicans.
“Georgia’s population is becoming more urbanized,” he said. “We had a large influx of immigrants from the Olympics who have now become citizens. We’ve got a lot corporations relocating here.”
Rather than focusing on rural, mostly white constituents, Republicans will need to be more welcoming of being labeled “fiscal conservatives but social moderates,” Taylor said.
Knippenberg said the state GOP may have to rein in rural lawmakers who might feel emboldened by a Trump presidency to continue to push for controversial socially conservative policies.
“Republicans who have won in metro Atlanta need to figure out a way to persuade rural Republicans to not hang issues on them that will hurt them,” he said. An example is the Religious Restoration Freedom Act, vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal last year, and heavily supported by Republicans living outside Atlanta’s blue bubble.
“If the party is not competitive in metro Atlanta, it is not going to win the governor’s seat,” he said.
The national Anti-Defamation League, with a Southeastern office in Atlanta, is tracking upticks of hate crimes across the country in the wake of Trump’s election.
It condemned the appointment of Steve Bannon, former Breitbart News executive, CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign and now the White House chief strategist, warning of Bannon’s support of the alt-right movement, a “loose network of white nationalists and anti-Semites.”
David Schaefer, director of Policy and Advocacy for the Latin American Association, which has an outreach center on Buford Highway in Brookhaven, said his organization still is analyzing Trump’s transition and his cabinet picks.
“[W]e are responding in ways that will address the concerns of the community,” Schaefer said. “We are working with the Mexican Consulate [located on Chantilly Drive, just across I-85 from Brookhaven and Buckhead] to hold a series of community informational forums in the upcoming weeks.”
Locally, two Cross Keys High School teachers recently were suspended after they were accused of making deportation threats to some students; Cross Keys is known for its many Latino students.
Taylor said in a recent interview he voted for Trump but knew nothing of Bannon. “I had never heard of him … I know no history of this guy,” he said. “There’s a lot of rhetoric out there.”
He asked people to “give everyone a chance” and said change in government moves like an aircraft carrier, or, in other words, very slowly.
“We will have to wait and see what happens,” he said. HERE