February 25, 2009

SB 20 passes Georgia Senate! We may see local governments obey the law yet! Open borders subversives not happy. State bill would put teeth in immigration screening

Posted by D.A. King at 1:44 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

State bill would put teeth in immigration screening


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Local governments that take illegal immigration lightly could lose state money under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 20 adds some teeth to a Georgia law passed two years ago that cracked down on illegal immigration.

That previous action requires public employers to use federal databases to screen immigrants when hiring, and to verify an applicant’s immigration status when giving welfare benefits. Senate Bill 20 says failure to do this could cost the local government state funds or state-administered federal funds.

The measure, approved 37 to 9, also prohibits local governments from declaring themselves “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants. It directs local governments to cooperate with federal agents in enforcing immigration laws.

Bill sponsor Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) said about 60 cities across the country — but none in Georgia — have declared themselves sanctuary cities.

The proposal could spur local governments to take seriously the state’s laws on illegal immigration, said Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock). He was the architect of a Georgia law passed two years ago cracking down on illegal immigration, but Rogers acknowledges there has been spotty compliance.

“If you have a county that’s not verifying legal residence before giving welfare benefits, they are squandering taxpayer money,” Rogers said. “So the state should assure they don’t get any more money to squander,” he said.

But Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) characterized the bill as a solution looking for a problem. Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) said it and similar legislation sends “increasingly hostile messages” to the state’s international community and will hurt the economy.

The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

So far, only a dozen municipalities and agencies statewide have signed up to use a federal database that lets them check immigrants’ legal status before giving welfare benefits. And many smaller cities have not signed up for the federal E-Verify program, which allows them to check the immigration status of new hires, even though it is required by state law.

http://www.ajc. com/metro/content/metro/ stories/2009/02/24/georgia_ immigration_bill.html