Federal,state immigrationlaws...Ignored in Cherokee

By D.A. King, Cherokee Tribune, January 2, 2009

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Surely, we wouldn't be rewarding illegal aliens with jobs, services and benefits while Americans go without.


With state and local governments searching for ways to reduce spending, American unemployment rates soaring to record levels and increasing cutbacks in services, most logical Americans would assume that everything possible was being done to curtail the crimes of illegal immigration and illegal employment.

Surely, we wouldn't be rewarding illegal aliens with jobs, services and benefits while Americans go without.



A 2005 Zogby poll in the Atlanta newspaper showed more than 80 percent of Georgians were fed up with illegal immigration and illegal employment and wanted the state government to address the issue.

After a very contentious fight, in April 2006 the General Assembly passed a state law authored by state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) essentially saying that in Georgia, we must not only obey federal immigration law but also help enforce it using available federal tools.

Rogers' Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (Senate Bill 529) went into effect July 1, 2007.

Nobody, including Rogers and those who worked very hard for passage, imagined that most local governments in Georgia - including Cherokee County and its cities - would refuse to comply with the law.

But that is exactly what has happened.

Section 9 of GSICA requires all local government agencies that administer "public benefits" to collect an affidavit from applicants for many benefits swearing to either U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. The government agencies are then required to use a federal database called the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system to verify immigration status of alien applicants.

False swearing on the affidavit is a felony.

While the term "public benefits" brings to mind welfare and social benefits, according to that pesky law, they also include all "professional licenses, or commercial licenses provided by an agency of a state or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government."

In plain English, each time a Georgia city or county issues - or renews - a business license to an alien without obtaining a sworn affidavit of lawful presence in the United States from the applicant and then verifying that status using the SAVE program, that government is in violation of the law.

Cherokee County government is not collecting the mandated affidavit and does not have access to the SAVE database. I leave it to the reader to ask their city governments about compliance.

With Border Patrol agents risking their lives to stop illegal entries into our nation, rewarding illegals who escape apprehension with a license to do business here is appalling as well as illegal.

Cherokee residents should be very concerned about this lack of compliance and ask the members of the County Commission which other laws they are ignoring.

In early 2009, the same Board of Commissioners will vote on a county ordinance aimed at ending the harboring and employment of illegal aliens in unincorporated Cherokee.

The proposed new ordinance has all the right enemies in the well-funded open borders lobby, including the ACLU and the radical, leftist Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

A "yes" vote on the ordinance from the commissioners serious about protecting Cherokee from the ravages of illegal immigration should be a no-brainer. But voters should be asking the question: If you aren't enforcing the two year-old state law saying you must obey the federal law, how can we believe you will enforce the county law?

For the readers who are wondering why the county government's refusal to comply with immigration laws is not front page, top of the broadcast news, well, me too.

Imagine the howls from all corners if the same elected officials were to refuse to obey the laws requiring the taxpayer financed no-cost medical treatment and K-12 education of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in Georgia.

Laws that serve illegals are strictly enforced. It is past time to demand the same of laws designed to protect Americans in their own country.

D.A. King of Marietta is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which is opposed to illegal immigration and illegal employment. He lobbied in favor of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act. On the Web: (http://www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org)

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