Senate bill 458 had plenty of votes to pass – 2012 was the first year since 2004 that the general assembly did not pass illegal immigration legislation.Georgia has more illegals than doesArizona and ranks number six in the nation in illegal population. The low estimate is that 7% ofGeorgia’s workforce is black-market labor. Unemployment is 9%. English is an optional language.
- Current state law requires agencies that administer public benefits (including the SOS office and most counties and municipalities and many other official agencies) to collect proof of US citizenship each time an individual applies for a public benefit, including renewal of that benefit. While non-citizens legal presence and benefit eligibility can change due to visa expiration or immigration law violation, for the most part, U.S. citizenship status does not change. U.S. citizens should only have to prove that status one time in any one agency. Making this correction will relive effected agencies workload by about 80 –90%. Aliens would continue to be required to prove eligibility. SB 458 would have remedied that problem.
- The AG’s office has excluded birth certificates from the list of acceptable Secure and Verifiable ID documents. Right now and since Jan 1st, literally all drivers’ license and marriage license issuing agencies in Georgia are in violation of the law because they logically accept birth certificates to issue their licenses. SB 458 would have remedied that problem by adding birth certificates to the list.
- The AG’s office now says that the provision in existing law that allows that office to add to or alter the official list of public benefits is at the least, problematic. SB 458 would have remedied that problem.
- UNDOCUMENTED PASSPORTS! The AG’s office has made foreign passports Secure and Verifiable ID – but not required that those passports have federal documents attached proving lawful entry into the U.S. Illegal aliens, having escaped capture at the border, simply go to their respective consulates in Atlanta and then get a passport. This completely nullifies the intent and effect of banning the acceptance of Mexican matricula consular and other consulate IDs issued by foreign governments inside the USA last year with HB 87. It allows illegal aliens to seem “documented.” Taking away the ability of illegal aliens to present accepted ID is second only to taking away their employment in encouraging them to migrate out of Georgia. SB 458 would have remedied that problem by requiring proof of lawful entry in officially accepted foreign passports.
- Note: Since enactment of federal law of 1940, there are no circumstances under which an adult non-citizen (alien) present in the USA is not required to have proof of legal presence on his person at all times. Also,There are about 30 nations for which the federal government waives the visa requirement to enter the US, but even then, there is an entry document issued and stamped (I-94W) and attached to the alien’s passport demonstrating lawful entry and date of required departure.
- ILLEGAL ALIENS IN GEORGIA’S UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: Originally, the as-passed House Judiciary (non-civil) committee version of SB 458 contained language that banned illegal aliens from the all USG schools – not just the five that Regents policy currently affects. A policy that can be changed at any time. The House (Judiciary Non-Civil headed by Rep. Rich Golich) committee reinserted language that had been removed in the Senate. Despite the repeated campaign promise from Governor Deal to “do everything possible” to keep illegals out of the university system, he remained silent during the entire session except to have staff tell callers that the ban was “unnecessary.”
- SB 458 was held up in House Rules committee until an amendment was created to remove the university ban for illegal aliens. The version that would have been voted on in the House would not have contained the post secondary education language. Leadership refused to move the bill with the college ban.
- Who wanted and needed SB 458 to pass and lobbied extensively on Day 40 to get the bill out of the House and back to the Senate for a final OK? Believe it or not, because of the fixes for proof of US citizenship and birth certificates and the workload reduction SB 458 would have represented, in addition to countless pro-enforcement Georgians begging the Speakers office and House members, making calls and sending faxes and emails in favor of SB 458, very powerful entities were also heavily in favor. Including: The AG office, ACCG/GMA, SOS office, Ga. Dept. of Drivers Services, DOL, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. But not the Agriculture industry. And as far as any one can see, not Governor Deal’s office.