Many carried signs that said "UNDOCUMENTED AND UNAFRAID" and "WE WILL NOT LEAVE!" and "NO TO HB 87!" and "LEGALIZATION FOR ALL" and "WE WILL NOT COMPLY!" The Capitol grounds looked and sounded like the televised mass rallies that take place in chaotic Third World nations on the way to revolution.
The hated object of the angry, riotous protest was any enforcement of American immigration laws in general and HB 87, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011 authored by state Rep. Matt Ramsey, in particular. HB 87 is the most well written and most potentially effective state immigration enforcement bill in the nation.
The message, even though most of the day-long rally was conducted in a foreign language, was quite clear: "Your laws do not apply to us unless they benefit our presence in your country."
Speaker after speaker boasted of being in the U.S. illegally and assured the fearless mob that there is a human and civil right to ignore American borders and immigration and employment laws. Having escaped capture at our borders, apparently they are now all oppressed victims suffering persecution in America ... but entitled to U.S. citizenship. The defiant warning was repeated over and over again: "We will gain the right to vote and pay you back."
The organizers of the event, a mix of socialists, anarchists, local ethnic hustlers and the ACLU (but I repeat myself) appointed some of their own to work crowd control. This long-time American watched as curious American citizen observers were refused access to certain sections of public property - Georgia Capitol grounds - by these radicals. Capitol Police and State Patrol officers warned Americans to obey those orders.
In speeches, some well-known Democrats - including U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta - urged the mob on and assured them they were right and would be victorious. And that help was on the way. The rally was originally scheduled for May Day - the traditional socialist workers holiday. The Democratic legislators who are also trying to kill immigration enforcement in Georgia convinced the organizers to move it up in hopes that it would help snuff the legislation before the looming end of the legislative session.
There were no arrests by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, charged with enforcement of our immigration laws. That might have caused a scene.
The goal of the rally was to kill HB 87.
Meanwhile, at the exact time that the fugitive would-be "new Americans" were gathered outside the Georgia Capitol, a group of about 20 agriculture business owners were being squired around the Capitol interior by a South Georgia lawmaker to offices of the senior Georgia government leadership.
Their mission was to assure continued access to taxpayer subsidized black-market labor so as to avoid use of the available federal guest worker H2A visa program that allows them to hire the legal, but more costly, farm workers who enter the U.S. lawfully under that numerically unlimited program.
The goal was to kill HB 87.
Over the last months inside the Gold Dome, during hearings on HB 87 one could see lobbyists paid by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the ACLU, the Farm Bureau, the Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials Inc., the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia" ("E-Verify is bad for Asian business"), and many other far-left anti-enforcement groups obfuscate, fabricate, race-bait and misquote official statistics and "facts" to legislative committee members about immigration, federal laws, visas, and E-Verify while constantly denigrating the American worker and carefully explaining that we should continue to ignore federal law because enforcement would be "racial profiling" and the legal workers are "too expensive."
The goal was to kill HB 87.
A July 2010 Georgia Newspaper Partnership poll of Georgians showed that a large majority - 68 percent - supported an Arizona style immigration enforcement law here.
Right now, behind the scenes, it is the lieutenant governor of Georgia and the president pro tem of the Georgia Senate who are quietly standing between the people of Georgia and a Senate vote on HB 87.
For the majority of Georgia, the goal in the last full week of the legislative session should be to see HB 87 sent to Gov. Nathan Deal's desk for signature.
We should apologize to our grandfathers if we fail.
D.A. King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society. On the web: www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org