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Guest column: Georgia immigration bills could add to Mexico’s woes

POSTED: May 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Americans who are concerned about the decades old illegal immigration crisis, and perhaps confused about solutions, have only to look to Arizona and the neighboring Mexican state of Sonora to understand the obvious: Enforcement works.

In a comically ironic example of proof, here's a quote from a Mexican Representative, Leticia Amparano Gamez, in the Tucson Citizen newspaper on the fact that recent Arizona laws aimed at illegal employment and illegal immigration have resulted in thousands of Mexicans returning home: "How can they pass a law like this? Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems."

The Mexican official's complaint is that Sonora is being overwhelmed with demands for jail space, housing, social services and classrooms to accommodate the repatriated "migrants" who were formerly residing in the U.S. illegally. Indeed.

Enforcement works in Georgia, too, as is being proven with Georgia state Sen. Chip Rogers', R- Woodstock, 2006 Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (SB 529). Several additional bills that passed the 2008 General Assembly could add to the Mexican official's troubles.

From someone who spent many days under the Gold Dome working to encourage legislators to disregard the mindless howls of objection from the usual suspects in the open borders lobby, here's a short outline of some of what the well-funded leftists fought to stop.

Senate Bill 350 authored by Senator John Wiles, R-Marietta, would punish Georgia residents, including illegal aliens, who are driving without ever having obtained a Georgia driver's license. Presently, unlicensed driving usually results in a fine which is regarded as little more than speed-bump for the untrained and unlicensed illegal drivers. SB 350 allows for fingerprinting violators, fines of up to $1000 and jail time for the first offense, with a felony charge if convicted more than three times in five years.

SB 350 would be a deterrent to illegal presence here and would save lives on Georgia roads. Maybe it would have saved Cobb County Sheriff's Deputy Loren Lilly, who was killed when he was run off the road by an unlicensed illegal alien driver in December 2006. A nearly identical bill was vetoed by governor Perdue last year.

State Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, deserves our thanks for his dedication to public safety and his courage in standing up to the crazies in the illegal alien lobby for his House Bill 978. It allows law enforcement officers to impound the vehicles of drivers found to be driving without being licensed, the huge majority of whom are illegal.

Existing federal law allows for the seizure of any vehicle or craft found to be transporting illegal aliens. There goes the ridiculous argument that this is somehow "unconstitutional." It is also closer to how they handle illegal driving in Mexico.

SB 421 makes it a felony for the second violation of the crime of knowingly manufacturing, selling, distributing or possessing false identification documents. Even for illegal aliens who have stolen American citizens' identities on their way to stealing the American dream. Thank you Sen. Chip Pearson, R-Dawsonville.

Including the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, these bills have earned all the right enemies. The groups are part of a coalition looking for a better life by urging the governor to veto the legislation.

Before the May 14 veto deadline, these bills deserve the wholehearted support from Georgia citizens.
Two Senate Resolutions are also noteworthy, final and cannot be vetoed. SR 827 written by Sen. Nancy Schaefer, R-Turnerville, expresses the will of the Georgia Senate to urge the U.S. Congress to withdraw the United States from the little known Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and from any activity that seeks the economic merger of the United States with other nations, as has already been done with the European Union.

SR 1011 from Sen. Bill Jackson, R-Appling, offers gratitude and appreciation to U.S. Border Patrol and urges the president to review the ludicrous and shameful imprisonment of former Border Patrol agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. Both were prosecuted for improperly reporting their on-duty wounding of an illegal alien drug smuggler.

The governor should ignore the illegal alien lobby and sign these bills into law to let enforcement work in Georgia. I have called his office at 404-656-1776 to say as much. We all should.

Making Georgia less attractive to illegal aliens is worth the call.

D.A. King is president of the Marietta-based Dustin Inman Society, which is opposed to illegal employment and illegal immigration. First published April 27, 2008.



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