Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 26: It is official (once again). Georgia does not like immigrants.

Day 26: It is official (once again). Georgia does not like immigrants.

Thursday 02/28/2013. Twenty-Sixth day of the Georgia Legislative Session.
Few days ago I mentioned that I was glad the way immigration issue was addressed on this session. Today I stand corrected, I talked too fast. HB125 is a bill introduced by Rep. Hightower (R-Carrolton), initially meant to fix the tons of extra paperwork created by HB87 couple of years ago regarding of people proving citizenship every year when they renew their commercial and professional licenses. As it can imagined, this created a major clog during the renewal season, especially in small counties.

We reviewed the original version of the bill, 6-page long, and we checked with colleagues as well regarding potential negative impact. It cleared everybody. Now, all the sudden, in the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee hearing of Wednesday, the bill has sprouted 7 extra pages. Those resemble a bad copy of lose parts of HB87, plus adding denying benefits that are already denied. The language is a big convoluted of back-and-forth references to the Georgia Code Annotated and the US Code, which is quite hard to follow, and to determine its intentions and consequences. If anything, it is worth to mention that the author of HB125, Rep. Hightower thanked Rep. Ramsey (HB87 author and member of this committee as well) for his support and mentorship all the way on the ‘improvement’ of this bill.

As the bill is written right now, it does nothing but to confuse and complicate passport carriers that just came to Georgia, reduces the discretion of the Secretary of the State on licenses, and the discretion of the Board of Regents to rule on education as well. Altogether, this bill shows just a mean intention, and very little knowledge on immigration law, and it is just another jewel from our legislators to the world to show once more how paranoid Georgia is towards immigrants. Visceral bills like this just reflect resentment beyond reason, and mock efforts to bring international investment to Georgia. Really sad indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment