Georgia Legislators Not Considering All Options In Budget Crunch

By D.A. KIng, Insider Advantage Georgia a subscription Website, January 20, 2010

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Consider reducing the size of Georgia’s “undocumented worker” population, thereby creating jobs for American workers and redirecting benefits and services to eligible recipients.

Guest Column - D.A. King:

Georgia Legislators Not Considering All Options In Budget Crunch

By D. A. King

(1/20/10) Reading the headlines surrounding the Georgia budget problems brings to mind an old story about a large truck getting firmly wedged under a too-low highway bridge.

As the tale goes, while puzzled engineers and consultants try to decide whether or not to try to somehow jack up the bridge or how much damage would be done if they forced the wayward truck out, a young bystander yells a suggestion: “Why not let the air out of the tires?”

During the budget hearings under the Gold Dome, here is a respectful request to the Georgia General Assembly from someone who studies the consequences of the crimes of illegal immigration, illegal employment and illegal administration of Public Benefits: consider letting some air out of the tires while making cuts that will effect citizens and lawfully admitted immigrants.

Consider reducing the size of Georgia’s “undocumented worker” population, thereby creating jobs for American workers and redirecting benefits and services to eligible recipients.

We should consider some undeniable and nationally proven facts: people who are in violation of American immigration laws migrate out of every area in which the law is actually enthusiastically enforced. Simply put, again: on reducing the illegal population, enforcement works.

As this long time American has written many times, in 2006 Georgia passed a law that says Georgians – including local governments and state agencies - must obey federal immigration, employment and benefits laws. Like many immigration laws that do not directly benefit the illegal aliens or the Americans who have created an industry out of using and rewarding them, the law was treated as an option by virtually all local governments in Georgia.

In 2009 another law, with an effective date of January 1, 2010, was passed (as HB 2) to stiffen the original law.

We now have a law that says we must obey the law that says we must obey the law.

Unsurprisingly, it too is also being quietly being treated as an option. To date, of the 159 counties and 535 municipalities in Georgia, 47 are authorized to use a federal (“SAVE”) database to verify eligibility of applicants for public benefits as mandated in the law. Another 214 have pending applications to use the program.

No one in state government seems to even have a count of the other various official agencies that administer public benefits. We cannot change what we cannot measure. The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act must be enforced.

Imagine the headlines if the laws that grant taxpayer funded education, health care, Medicaid and translation services to illegal aliens and their children were to be violated. Or the Governor’s Super Speeder law…

Speaking of headlines, here are three:

“Decade ahead will be severe for the unemployed”

“Jobless payouts a strain on the state”

“Summit addresses Georgia’s job crisis.”

And here is a suggestion: mandate use of the federal E-Verify employment eligibility system for all employers in the state to check newly hired employees for eligibility, using citizenship and immigration status. It’s a no-brainer.

It has been done in other states and the highly accurate and successful E-Verify system happens to have been designed for exactly that purpose. Do we really want to struggle to create jobs and then sit back and ignore available tools that would prevent Georgia workers from competing for those jobs with people who escaped capture at our borders?

Another headline: “College applicants face tough competition for enrollments.” Since providing taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens for postsecondary education is illegal under both federal and state law, it follows that use of the SAVE system to insure compliance with those laws will open up seats for students who are here lawfully - and will be eligible to work upon graduation.

How much money can Georgia save if we move to stop allowing the hiring of black-market labor and reduce the number of illegals who access services and benefits? Good question. A glimpse: Just one California county, San Bernardino, reports spending nearly $64 million in state and federal money last year alone to provide welfare benefits to just the American-born children of illegal aliens.

In a “duh” moment, some California lawmakers say it's an expense the state can't afford as it struggles to close a nearly $20 billion budget gap.

"This is a huge burden on our state," said Assemblyman Steve Knight”. Radical stuff. “We should never be giving benefits to people in this country illegally," said state Sen. Bob Dutton.

Besides the courageous exceptions, we hear of far too few Georgia legislators with similar sentiments.

Why not create a system to identify illegally present beneficiaries of our payouts? Federal laws mandate many benefits to illegals… but they don’t say we can’t ask and determine immigration status. Again: If the law is enforced, we will reduce the number of people in Georgia who use these benefits. (Duh)

A final headline; “Lawmakers out of ways to cut spending in ‘10”.

No… they aren’t.


D.A. King is a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration and president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society. He lobbied in favor of Georgia’s laws on immigration.

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