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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bill cracking down on illegals deserves signature

Editorial from the Marietta Daily Journal:

The White House and Congress have taken a "do-nothing" approach to curbing illegal immigration for decades, even as the number of illegals pouring into this country surged to tsunami proportions, and even as public opinion now has shifted largely in favor of putting an end to the problem.

With the president and Congress still content to sit on the sidelines - and with a president and Democratic-controlled Senate whose likely approach would exacerbate the problem, not cure it - it has fallen on the states to take the lead.

Georgia is believed to have one of the largest populations of illegal immigrants in the country, and that's one reason that the state Legislature passed one of the toughest reform laws in the country during this session.

The new law has two main elements.

The first - and most far-reaching in its probable effect - requires any business with more than 10 employees to use the E-verify system to check the employee or applicant's legality. Some businesses and farmers howled about that provision, even though use of the E-verify system is free. But logic indicates that drying up the supply of jobs for illegals will make our state less of Mecca for them, and thereby end what has become a huge drain on the state and local budgets and other public resources.

The second permits law enforcement officers to check the legal status of someone under investigation for another suspected violation of the law. It does not allow them to stop people at random or based on their skin color and ask about their immigration status. Nor does it carbon copy Arizona and set a fairly low "reasonable suspicion" standard for allowing law enforcement to ask that question. That means the outcome of the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's law is unlikely to directly effect enforcement of the Georgia law.

"Georgia has more illegal aliens than the state of Arizona, and my understanding is that recently released Census figures indicate that the state with the fastest rate of growth of illegal aliens over the past decade was Georgia," state Rep. Rich Golick (D-Smyrna), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, told the Marietta Daily Journal. "This has had a draining effect on our dwindling resources, especially given the economic recession."

Some of the opponents of the new law are predicting it will lead to boycotts of Georgia and other forms of retaliation.

"It will be an economic disaster," said one of them optimistically - which tells you all you need to know about their skewed view.

Other opponents continue to lamely argue that immigration is a federal issue and that states should take a hands-off approach. In other words, continue to let the problem fester and fester.

To their credit, most Georgia legislators - and most of Cobb's - felt otherwise and voted to pass legislation to address the matter.

That bill is now on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal. He has said he plans to sign it, and we would encourage him to waste no time in doing so.

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