July 31, 2018

Lawyer: State’s immigration board members serving on expired terms #IERB

Posted by D.A. King at 9:31 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Photo: Bensbiltong.com


July 30, 2018

Lawyer: State’s immigration board members serving on expired terms

By Chris Joyner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Decatur city attorney has asked the Attorney General’s office to look into whether members of the Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board have overstayed their term in office and should be removed.

In his letter, Brian Downs said five of the seven members have served since the board’s creation in 2011, despite a state law that limits members to two terms of two years each.

“If these board members are not supposed to be serving under the law, then they need to step aside,” Downs said in an interview Monday.

It is the latest development in the city’s fight against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s accusation that Decatur is violating state laws outlawing “sanctuary” cities.

The letter singles out Chairman Shawn Hanley and board member Phil Kent, both outspoken activists for tighter immigration controls, for replacement. Hanley and Kent were appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

But Downs also notes Cagle appointees Boyd Austin and Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager, along with Moultrie farmer Terry Clark, who was appointed by House Speaker David Ralston, have also served since 2011 without ever being reappointed.

“Expedited action on this situation is critical,” Downs said. “The IERB has multiple pending cases in which each of these individuals have no legal right to participate.”

Cagle filed a complaint against Decatur in November claiming that by prohibiting police from holding suspected illegal immigrants solely on a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement the city broke a state law forbidding “sanctuary cities.” Cagle filed the complaint from the lieutenant governor’s office, but it came amid his campaign against Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the Republican nomination for governor.

Both Cagle and Kemp sparred over who could be toughest on immigration, among other issues. Kemp defeated Cagle in a primary runoff July 24.

Decatur has denied its policy violates the state law. Downs has repeatedly said Decatur is not a sanctuary city in sometimes heated exchanges with immigration board members…. More here.