- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Georgia revisits legal restrictions on illegal aliens
ATLANTA (AP) — There have been no protests on the steps of the Georgia Capitol like those that greeted the state’s sweeping immigration legislation last year. But quietly, and in piecemeal fashion, state lawmakers have been working around the edges to crack down again on aliens in the country illegally.
Georgia made international headlines last spring when it passed some of the toughest laws in the U.S. targeting illegal aliens within its borders. Those laws included provisions to sanction employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens and deny some state services — such as nonemergency medical care and unemployment checks — to adults who can’t verify that they’re in the country legally.
A flurry of smaller proposals has been moving through the state legislature this year, including several that would make it tougher for illegal aliens to drive in Georgia.
“This is an issue that I hear from my constituents all the time about,” said state Rep. Timothy Bearden, a Republican from Villa Rica, who wants to require all state forms to be in English only.
“The federal government has been derelict in their duty, and until they do something, I guess it’s going to be left up to us here in the states,” he said.
State Sen. Chip Rogers was the author last year of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act. Most provisions of that law aren’t set to take effect until July, and Mr. Rogers said he doesn’t foresee another comprehensive immigration bill until the effects of that legislation can be judged.
“But there is still room to do other things,” said the Republican from Woodstock, a north Atlanta suburb.
Last week, a proposal by Mr. Rogers coasted through the state Senate that would require Georgians to obtain a valid state driver’s license before they can get their car licensed. To get a Georgia driver’s license, residents must already verify that they are in the country legally.
Mr. Rogers portrayed it as a public safety measure but acknowledged that it would make it harder for people in the country illegally to get behind the wheel, because their vehicles wouldn’t have valid plates and would be easy for law enforcement to spot and stop.
The measure passed unanimously without debate. It moves to the House, which like the state Senate is controlled by Republicans.
Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said the measures are little more than a backhanded way to go again after illegal aliens.
“In some ways, it’s worse than last year because it’s sneakier,” he said.
Mr. Gonzalez said the measures under consideration would drive the state’s growing Hispanic population deeper underground and discourage them from cooperating with law enforcement.
But Republican backers of the new proposals say they are needed to close loopholes.
The crackdown is coming not just from the state legislature. Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, announced during his re-election bid that 10 new investigators would be placed at driver services centers — where driver’s licenses are issued — that are thought to be at the highest risk for receiving forged documents.
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- KEENE: Familiar refrains from Britain's 'Tea Party'
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.