Marietta Daily Journal
Gold Dome bill would block licenses for illegals
by Joe Kirby, Otis A. Brumby III and Lee B. Garrett, – Around Town Columnists
November 18, 2014 04:00 AM
REPUBLICAN leaders in Washington are mulling how best to respond to President Obama’s bare-knuckle threat to grant legal status to millions of illegal aliens in coming days. But in Georgia, a bill was pre-filed in the state Legislature on Monday that would prevent any of those newly amnestied from obtaining drivers’ licenses from the state.
“The Georgia Road Safety and Driver’s License Integrity Act,” now known as SB 6, was sponsored by state Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), with substantial input from MDJ immigration columnist D.A. King of east Cobb.
Back in June 2012, the Obama administration announced that illegals who were brought here before their 16th birthday and were under the age of 31 could request that their cases be deferred for two years, subject to renewal. He now is threatening to defer action on their cases and those of many others, which could result in millions (including several hundred thousand illegal aliens in Georgia) being rewarded with federal work permits and Social Security numbers. Under current law, that would make the “deferred action illegals” eligible for Georgia drivers’ licenses and other public benefits, even though they are still illegal aliens and would not have legal status.
“Previously, Georgia law restricted illegal aliens from getting a driver’s license,” said McKoon. “When the president created the ‘deferred action status’ class, he deliberately created a loophole to make millions of illegal aliens eligible for Georgia driver’s licenses and other public benefits. Senate Bill 6 will eliminate that loophole in Georgia.”
In addition, the bill would:
Require aliens applying for a temporary driver’s license to submit their fingerprints with the application;
Require aliens swear an affidavit that they are not the recipient of deferred deportation status, with a penalty of up to $1,000 for false swearing;
Would allow the impoundment for 60 days of any vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver (with exclusions for cases of expired licenses and drivers 15 years old or younger); and
Would require the state to take part in the federal E-Verify “Ride” Program, an enhancement to the E-Verify program that verifies the validity of driver’s license info by matching the data entered by employers against participating state motor vehicle department records.
Not surprisingly, considering he helped write it, King is upbeat on the bill.
“It will save a lot of lives if it is put into law and then actually enforced,” he said. “We should be more like Mexico, where illegal aliens cannot get a driver’s license.”
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) declined to comment on the particulars of the bill, but said he supports its goal.
“All you have to look at is what happened in Oregon last week in the election,” he said after his Gold Dome press conference Monday, at which he announced his candidacy for a third term. “Oregon voted 2-to-1 not to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. I think that’s the sentiment of the American people.”
Oregonians voted 66-34 against the proposal (roughly the same margin by which Cobb voters rejected the TSPLOST in 2012, for what it’s worth), even though pro-illegals groups outspent opponents by a 10-to-1 margin. The measure failed in every county there but one.
Echoing Isakson on the question was Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C.
“Whenever the public gets that sort of clear-cut, black-and-white issue for tougher controls — even in Oregon, when they’re legalizing dope — they support them,” Krikorian said. “It really highlights how this issue is not a Republican-liberal issue like, say, taxes and abortion, but an up-down issue, elites versus the public.”
Retired Lt. Col. and Marietta Rotary Club former president Joe DeSantis hosted a private “Salute to Veterans” dinner for nearly 100 military academy graduates, and military service veterans at the Marietta Conference Center on Veterans’ Day evening. Guest speaker was Gen. Steve Richie, the only Air Force fighter pilot to earn “ace” status during the Vietnam war by shooting down five enemy aircraft.
Among the crowd were former Cobb School Superintendent Lt. Gen. Joe Redden and retired Maj. Stuart Fleming, who serves on the Marietta City Council. DeSantis, Richie, Redden and Fleming are U. S. Air Force Academy graduates.
Others seen at the dinner included West Point grad and Blackhawk pilot Col. Bob Shaw (now of Lockheed Martin), West Point grad and former F-15 pilot Col. William Fletcher, Dr. (and retired Col.) Harlan Crimm, retired president of Chattahoochee Tech, and Dr. Jim Fleming, former president of the Georgia Air Force Academy Parents Club and of the Kennesaw State University Foundation. …
This year’s recipient of the USO Award at the annual Atlanta Regional Military Affairs Council luncheon at the Galleria on Monday was Home Depot CEO Frank Blake of Cobb.
MORE POLITICS: Isakson’s decision to go ahead and announce his plans Monday to seek a third term in the Senate was a smart one. Waiting would have fueled speculation that the east Cobb Republican, who turns 70 next month, might be considering retirement. A delay also might have fueled speculation that a tea party challenger running to his right could be successful.
Rumors had been circulating tea party favorite Allen West, the former one-term congressman from Florida who spoke recently at Roswell Street Baptist Church, was considering a move to his native Georgia to run against Isakson. Seasoned politicos here say that would have amounted to a kamikaze mission for West — and he apparently got the message, announcing last week he was moving to Texas instead to head a little-known conservative think tank.
U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-east Cobb) could be on the inside track to chair the powerful House Budget Committee. Price has been serving as vice chair under Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is the favorite to become chair of the even more powerful House Ways and Means Committee. … U.S. Sen.-elect Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is a former east Cobb resident and with his wife hosted the first neighborhood coffee for Mitchell Kaye’s successful race for state Legislature in 1992, Kaye reminds AT.
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