D.A. King in the Marietta Daily Journal: Deal silence on immigration costs him vote
Note: Below I post my most recent MDJ column – as well as the original subject article and a response in the form of a letter to the editor from U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey
Marietta Daily Journal
October 14, 2014
Deal silence on immigration costs him vote
Count this faithful reader as extremely grateful to the editorial board of this newspaper for asking gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal about his silence on the crime of illegal immigration, as reported Sunday.
From someone who has long watched the inside politics of the issue, please accept my word that “What about illegal immigration?” isn’t a question the majority-liberal Georgia media will ask a Republican who has chosen silence. Rather, there’s a “let sleeping dogs lie” sort of attitude.
In a state with more illegal aliens than Arizona, Deal’s response to the badly needed MDJ question brings up some inconvenient facts that this forever-independent voter’s Republican friends don’t want to hear. Including that the Chamber of Commerce-financed, leftward lurch of former Democrat Nathan Deal on the crime of illegal immigration has apparently towed the state Republican Party along behind it.
For those who measure crime in monetary concepts, the last estimate heard from Deal was that illegal immigration was costing Georgia taxpayers upwards of $2 billion annually.
Georgia, where English is optional, is a destination for people — from all over the world — who are right now escaping capture while illegally crossing our border without any inspection. Probably most of them don’t have a dangerous disease. Most of them are likely not terrorists.
Georgia officially ranks number seven in the nation in its population of victims of borders.
The Republican governor’s response when asked last week why he has remained mostly mum on illegal immigration was that we should remember his voting record in Congress. But that now the immigration topic is too “polarizing.” And that “there are those in our population who consider these issues divisive. They consider us even talking about it as being anti-Hispanic.” Not exactly a profile in courage vignette, but apparent evidence that 5,000 screaming wanna-be Democrat illegal aliens repeatedly marching on the state Capitol has affected Republican-controlled Georgia politics.
Those with a four-year memory span may remember that when Deal had to run against conservative, pro-enforcement Republicans in the 2010 primary he boasted continuously — and quite voluntarily — of his strong immigration enforcement intentions.
Apparently Georgia’s Republican voting base could not be trusted to accept an “it’s too polarizing” attitude on illegal immigration way back then.
In the MDJ interview, Deal jumped on the issue of in-state tuition for the illegals now attending public-funded schools in the University System of Georgia. Left unsaid was the fact that he had made a campaign promise in 2010 to use the power of the governor’s office to keep all illegals out of all USG schools, in-state tuition or not.
But there is something bigger being avoided here. Deal made a point of telling the MDJ “the law is clear…”
“If you’re not lawfully in this country, then you’re not generally entitled to the benefits this country offers,” he said.
The reality is that illegal aliens who have been illegally granted protection from deportation by Barack Obama have been issued Georgia driver’s licenses and other public benefits in Georgia since 2012. And that Deal refused to help with 2014 legislation that would have ended that practice and prevented the estimated 5 million to 6 million additional illegal aliens to whom Obama has said he will soon expand the illegal de facto unilateral amnesty from the same access.
Imagine any candidate for governor four years ago tacitly affirming the concept that illegal aliens should have a driver’s license in Georgia.
More? Georgia voters will note several questions when they cast their ballot. Not among them is one that would have asked, “Shall the state Constitution be amended to make English the official language of Georgia government?”
That question is not on the ballot because in March, in the GOP-controlled state Capitol, the Georgia business lobby killed the legislation that would have allowed us to vote on it. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal remained silent.
Note to my GOP friends: I didn’t vote for your candidate for governor.
D.A. King of Marietta heads The Dustin Inman Society
The Marietta Daily Journal
October 12, 2014
Gov. Deal rocks into Marietta, shares thoughts on Ebola, immigration and Common Core
“Deal listed two reasons why he has not spoken as frequently as some would like about illegal immigration. One is his 17-year voting record in Congress, which he said speaks for itself. Another is that the topic is polarizing.
“There are those in our population for whom these issues they consider it divisive. They consider us even talking about it as being anti-Hispanic,” Deal said. “So, therefore, I’m not one of those that’s going to go jump up on a stump because there’s more division in our state society. I don’t think that does anybody any good. I think what we do is we do what we can do to stand by the rule of law and enforce it even when it’s uncomfortable, and that’s what we’re having to do with the out-of-state tuition issue.”
The law is clear on the subject of immigrants in the country illegally, Deal said.
“If you’re not lawfully in this country, then you’re not generally entitled to the benefits this country offers,” he said. “Now there are a couple of excepted areas there. One is K-12 education. The federal statute, several years ago when I was in Congress, that was excluded. A state could not reject that. Another area is in health care. Because we have birthright citizenship in our country, illegal women who are pregnant are immediately entitled to the benefits of our WIC program, of our Medicaid program, and the basis for that is that they are carrying a potential American citizen. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that because if that is going to be an American citizen, I would rather them have the medical attention prenatal so that we don’t have birth defects or other problems that we have to pay for because they are a citizen.”
Yet Deal said he opposes granting in-state tuition to someone who has illegally entered the country.
“Why would you do that? Because even though they are paying out-of-state tuition, that doesn’t cover the whole cost of higher education,” he said. “There’s still taxpayer money going through the Board of Regents to support colleges and it supports those who are coming in from out of state. Out-of-state tuition is supposed to make up a little of the differential, but it doesn’t make up it all.”
Deal said he’s always been a supporter of the 287(g) program, which allows state and local law enforcement agencies to partner with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“I felt like the most logical and reasonable way that the immigration service could have the assistance of local law enforcement is by training them to immigration standards and allowing them to be an enforcement arm at the local level,” Deal said. “Otherwise, they’re out there confronted with these issues that they have no power to do much of anything. I know this administration does not like 287(g) and they have cut it back significantly. I thought it was one of the more effective programs that we had in that regard.”
Complete report HERE
The Marietta Daily Journal October 16, 2014
Letters to the editor
King wrong: Deal ‘rock-solid’ on illegals
In rebuttal to D.A. King’s guest column in Wednesday’s MDJ, Gov. Nathan Deal has been rock-solid on enforcing immigration laws. Not only has he been strong on enforcement and border security, but the governor worked tirelessly during his 17 years in Congress to enact legislation to further combat the problem.
Reference then-Rep. Deal’s bill to end the policy of “Birthright Citizenship” whereby the Federal government grants babies born in this country of illegal immigrants automatic U.S. citizenship. King would find it instructive to go to the CSPAN video archives and listen carefully to Deal giving impassioned and cogent speeches on the House Floor regarding this and other illegal immigration issues.
I have no doubt that King, a good columnist with whom I often agree, would then regret not voting to re-elect Nathan Deal, a public official who has a servant’s heart for 10 million Georgians, no matter their country of origin. Those who came legally to our great state of Georgia are aware of this, and they will vote to re-elect the governor on Nov. 4, realizing his wisdom will make their lives better.
Now don’t you wish you had a re-do on that vote, Mr. King?
U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey