June 3, 2020
Immigration politics are shaping primary races for two state Senate seats in Georgia, allowing local voters to impose their priorities on their politicians until the polls close on June 9.
In State Senate District 54, GOP voters can choose between newcomer Dan McEntire or incumbent Sen. Chuck Payne, who voted with Democrats to block a law that would make it easier for people to recognize the illegal migrants who get state-approved drivers’ licenses.
In State Senate District 31, west of Atlanta, voters can pick between a local former mayor, Boyd Austin, and Jason Anavitarte, a “founding friend” of the Latino pressure group, GALEO, and a favorite of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
AnavitArte dismissed his member of the GALEO group, which has long opposed curbs on migration into Georgia. “As a Latino officeholder, I was once a member, but disagreed with them on many of the policy positions like outlined above and left that organization because of that,” he told Breitbart News.
But AnavitArte’s membership in GALEO is a problem, in part because it has opposed immigration updates pushed by reformers, including Sen. David Perdue. In 2016, Perdue blocked President Barack Obama’s appointment of another GALEO member, Dax Lopez, to a lifetime judgeship.
In May, Anavitarte did not mention illegal migration on his website. After responding to questions in late May from Breitbart News, however, he added a section, saying, “I believe in curbing illegal immigration through any and all means necessary.”
Anaviterte has endorsed several federal anti-migration proposals but has declined to identify any recent or new state-level measure that would curb migration into Georgia. He told Breitbart News:
I do not support open borders. I oppose amnesty and illegal immigration. I even believe there are serious loopholes in legal immigration that can be improved to strengthen the American workforce. Most of these are federal issues and we have limited options to remedy on a state level.
He told Breitbart News that he “would support that type of legislation if elected,” referring to the 2009 HB2 law.
That law was pushed by D.A. King, the founder of the Dustin Inman Society, which champions the enforcement of existing migration laws that help Americans to earn decent wages. “It is easy enough to say you support a bill after it has passed: The question is, will you support enforcement of the bills?” responded King responded to AnavitArte’s statement. “These laws are not being enforced,” he added.
“As a state legislator, we are very limited in the things we can do” about immigration, said rival Boyd Austin, a former mayor who is running for the open 31st district seat. So, he said, “one of the primary areas we should focus our attention on is sanctuary cities.” He explained:
“We’ve had several, large and small [sanctuary cities], in Georgia … [The legislature should] get rid of the magnets [for illegal aliens] and the ability for them to hide in plain sight, start taking away their state funding, and hit them in the pocketbook where it hurts.”
“I am not the establishment’s candidate,” Austin said. “The Georgia chamber [of commerce] has endorsed my opponent. He has powerful people who want to continue his [migration] process, with a lot of money coming from out of state,” said Austin, who is a former president of the Georgia Municipal Association. Read more here.