Georgia Governor Does What Congress Won't
Ga. Governor Signs Strict Immigration Bill
ATLANTA - Georgia's governor signed a sweeping immigration bill Monday that supporters and critics say gives the state some of the toughest measures against illegal immigrants in the nation.
"I want to make this clear: we are not, Georgia's government is not, and this bill is not, anti-immigrant," Gov. Sunny Perdue said at the signing.
"We simply believe that everyone who lives in our state needs to abide by our laws."
There is nothing wrong with wanting everyone who lives in the state of Georgia, and the United States, to abide by the Law.
In all the protest, in all the arguements, I have yet to hear anyone really address the fact that illegal immigrants are breaking the Law. I read that illegals want this or that for free, or they want citizenship RIGHT NOW, but do not address that they bypassed proper procedures in getting into the United States and broke its Laws.
I have yet to hear their reasoning behind the thinking that if they break the Law, and bypass proper procedures for entering the country (ahead of law abiding immigrants who go through the process for citizenship)why they think they deserve special treatment above any other immigrant who came to this country legally.
I hope this begins a trend in the States, as the inaction of the Government causes the States to take a more direct action in dealing with this issue.
The law requires verification that adults seeking many state-administered benefits are in the country legally. It sanctions employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and mandates that companies with state contracts check the immigration status of employees.
The law also requires police to check the immigration status of people they arrest.
The measure is believed to be the first comprehensive immigration package to make it through a statehouse this session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Many of the new law's provisions will not take effect until July 1, 2007.
The bill drew protests at Georgia's state Capitol and prompted a daylong work stoppage by thousands of immigrants.
Tisha Tallman, regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said she was studying potential legal challenges to the bill.
The new law will not affect emergency medical care and educational benefits for those in kindergarten through 12th grade, which federal courts have said must be provided regardless of immigration status.
Exemptions were also added for some other services like prenatal care and the treatment of communicable diseases.
The move to tighten rules in Georgia comes as lawmakers in Washington wrestle with competing proposals to shore up controls at the border, create a guest worker program and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Outside the Capitol on Monday, a few hundred supporters of the legislation applauded loudly when word came that Perdue was signing the proposal.
The crowd waved American flags and cheered as state Rep. Melvin Everson, one of the Georgia House's two black Republicans, denounced illegal immigration as a cancer and proclaimed: "The last time I checked, America was the land of English — not Spanish."
And they hollered as Republican state Sen. Chip Rogers, the bill's author, called it "the strongest single bill in America dealing with illegal immigration — bar none."
At the bill signing, Rogers said he has been approached by lawmakers from South Carolina and Colorado who were interested in crafting similar proposals for their states.
The basics in health services and education is met, they will not be cut from those services, but other services they will.
I am not sure what type of sanctions will be imposed on employeers who hire illegal immigrants though, they were not specific, but I do hope it is something that will make the business's think twice when hiring illegals.
I would like a comprehensive break down on this, so we understand it a bit better, but by the way it seems they have the main portions of it in good order, cutting out certain services that are not life threatening, keeping life-saving services and K-12 Education, and sanctioning business's that hire illegals.
Let's hope that Congress is watching and taking notes.
The American People are sick of inaction, and a large portion of voters see this as a MAJOR issue, not only about illegal immigration but in the Security of our Nation.
Get it together Congress, because the States are making you look like buffoons.
"It's our responsibility to ensure that our famous Georgia hospitality is not abused, that our taxpayers are not taken advantage of and that our citizens are protected," Perdue said before signing the law.
But Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, backed by key law enforcement officials, vetoed the bill in her state, the nation's hot spot for illegal crossing of the roughly 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, saying there were no resources to pay police and prosecutors for an increased burden.
Under the proposal, first-time offenders would have faced a misdemeanor charge and up to six months in jail. A second offense would have been a felony, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Arizona officials also were concerned about its effect in the community.
"There is a real concern that crimes will go unreported by immigrants for fear that they would be turned into federal agents," said Wendy Balazik, a spokeswoman for the 20,000-member International Association of Chiefs of Police. "Law enforcement would lose valuable information."
But state Rep. Russell Pearce said the governor needs to take a stand to slow the flow into Arizona.
"It is a federal responsibility, it is everyone's responsibility," said Pearce, a Republican behind several bills targeting immigrants. "When are we going to wake up and start enforcing the law?"
So Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed a bill that would enforce the law, because they do not have the resources to deal with it?
So does this mean that enforcing the Law is selective, and up to the Governor and law enforcement, to decide which laws to enforce and which not to?
If you do not have the resources, don't you think it is time to get the resources to deal with an increasing problem of illegality in your state Governor Napolitano?
Other provisions of the Georgia law prohibit employers from claiming a tax deduction for wages of $600 or more paid to undocumented workers, impose prison terms for human trafficking and limit the services commercial companies can provide to illegal immigrants.
"It's a punitive bill," said Sara Gonzalez, president and chief executive of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "This is a very complicated issue, and I don't see any good coming out of this."
"If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should not receive a U.S. benefit," said Steve Bray, a Georgia resident who was waving a U.S. flag and said he supports legal immigration.
Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says that they do not see anything good coming of this, but I and others who consider this nation very weak on border security, do.
* It is time to hit the business's that think they can hire illegals with impunity.
* It is time to hit the illegals who come in here seeking a free ride or to bypass normal entry into America.
* Illegals, some of them, want to berate and degrade America and what American Citizens want for our country - yet they insist it is their RIGHT to come into this country illegally; they insist on coming into the America even though they have nothing good to say about it, it seems.
I see that no matter what kind of bill or law is passed that tries to deal with illegal immigration, illegals and Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will ALWAYS have a problem with it, will always 'see nothing good coming of it'.
That is because they do not want anything to be done, and believe they should have automatic citizenship, and assorted other free 'Rights'.
Congress better start waking up, because there is a large portion of the American Citizens that are just plain fed up with the inactivity of our Government in protecting our borders.
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