Daily Archives: February 21, 2006

Hearings Today in Immigration

SB 529 — is going to be heard today.  I will try blogging the notes

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Sheriff Jolley, FAIR and Adjournment

Kemp: Is anyone here from more then one hour away?


Sheriff Jolley:  Representing Ga Sheriff’s Association…. Will explain process as we arrest someone – not academia…


Taken to jail, processed by jailer – asked litany of questions to id who the person is – if not id’d no bond.  We have access to ICE who have language experts to help us interrogate—no problem with language (72 of em)… we can converse.  If they have some id – we still try to verify who they are…  If they practiced — they will make bond.  INS has told us to let the minor crimes go.  7 deadly sins will not make bond.




We hear a lot today on complex issue.  I haven’t heard discussion concering growth of gangs, drug trafficking etc… Can you elaborate?


Sheriff: Easy money for gang activity.  Minority illegals do that.  Gangs are larger problems for cities… but are seeing increase in rural areas.  Drugs are a large problem but not just with illegals


Are gangs mix of illegals and legal –just legal?


Sheriff: I can’ t answer that question


Miles:  Could you tell me what provisions that are different from what you are currently doing… 


Sheriff : Dept of Public Safety would tell me who stays in my jail – who is illegal – INS tells me that , Public Safety doesn’t help me any


Miles:  Does bill provide for any change in process


Sheriff: No – we are doing this already.



Mike from (FAIR) – wanted to focus comments on testimony by MALDEF attorney.  On pre-emption:

  • She is completely wrong.  State has limits set by law/federal constitution… state can’t change status of immigrant… 
  • She failed to mention case in VA where we opposed … we said state admission officers could verify status…


As to Zamarippa’s comments


  • Am concerned about exempting Post Secondary education benefits – there is a parallel federal statute that says you must provide same benefit to every US citizen… (we do that already – non- state tuition wise)   There are conflicts with federal law there


Sheriff’s comments were wrong – requires systematic reporting to central location


We don’t have the hard data to make precise recommendations on policies such as these…Within a year you will have a consistent data base for illegal aliens – understanding what activities they are involved in…



We are gonna adjourn .. may have another public hearing before vote…



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Sen. Zamarippa

here today to consider some amendments…that perhaps a member of the committee can select to propose these amendments if they would


These are friendly amendments…


Kemp:  Before you talk to these amendments… Can you make sure we get amendments 24 hours before we vote?


Zamarippa:  Section 6 – Law enforcement – Under item A – provision kicks in if suspect arrested for one of the 7 deadly sins


This helps with local law enforcement work load


Bulk of my interest has been in section 7 – want to suggest


1)      Item C – Line 11 – Add two provisions – exemptions-

a.       Post Secondary education – cannot punish young men and women for sins of parents.  Can’t deny them their future because their parents brought them here illegally

b.      USC Sections 1611 and 1612 – these are substantive – and I ask that we include that list as part of the bill… there should be no confusion as to what is permissible and not permissible (this amendment will also expose things not spelled out – unless you are aggressive and look up the federal code – such exposure will excite folks who did not realize they would be affected by the bill)

2)      I am going to suggest in section 7 – Rogers has spelled out who has authority to promulgate rules – let’s add a promulgation provision to say who is gonna write the policies…   this is complicated material – we need to clarify for service providers

3)      Inside the promulgation provision – anyone denied services we need to have provision to refer them to someone else (church, etc)

4)      Next piece – a substantive add – one of the serious problems in management of immigration issue is pervasive use of fraudulent docs… makes it difficult for everyone.  REAL ID will probably help resolve…  Some fraudulent work takes place – in immigrant community where there are “notaries’ who take advantage of this community… they put these immigrants on path of committing felonies.  I suggest we address this issue to restrict what these folks can do (uses Spanish form of word “notaries) these folks are not notary publics….

5)      Last amendment – getting ready for federal immigration reform. US Congress has passed resolution relating to reform.  Senate will take up in March…  They will come up with omnibus bill with other provisions for worker permits… which will also give us some money (current bill asks us to do work with no money).  Any future reform will have money associated with it.  Consider Immigration Planning Office to provide source of information to service providers on what the laws are gonna mean…. The Office Of Immingration Information and Planning would help resolve the vagueries…


I will properly codify these in relation to the new substitute…. And will distribute

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Some supporting the bill

Rogers is now bring his folks from INS


They wish to answer questions on Law Enforcement supportment center and determination of citizenship


Robert Barron – Sr Immigration official in Georgia


With regards to who makes determination of citizenship – it is a trained immigration officer on the other end of the SAVE system…


(he exits)


(Ms.Pastor?) Worked 4 years at DFCS on eligibility – Medicaid system terribly abused by those not eligible.  Easier for illegal to abuse the system than a citizen.  As they have no valid SS number…  Citizens are verified and validated.  An illegal applicant – you have to take their word.  Because it is so easy to violate the system – emergency medical assistance case s—85% were illegal…  Same was the case with infants… they automatically have Medicaid for year… 


Very often illegal mother would go to health department (where they verify literally nothing) who takes as long as they want to get application back to DFCS…  


You are on the right track – should verify illegals just as legals

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Medical Community Speaks

Dr. Jason Kristowski (Emergency Medicine Physician) – talking of public health perspectives of this bill


California predated GA on a lot of these issues—Fed law trumps any state law to entitle any person on US soil to medical care.


Our ER’s are overwhelmed… more and more are uninsured – more aliens coming – more hospitals closing – where do they go.  And we are overwhelmed


Rogers said Georgia is largest producer of poultry … this industry is run heavily by undocumented aliens using fake social security cards paying taxes for benefits they will never see.


When avian flu comes – it will come via workers working with sick birds.  I know communicable diseases not included – but people come with wheeze and cough – not communicable disease – so what will happen is epidemic that exceeds are radar


I don’t want healthcare to be included – it should be excluded.  Immigrants are part of our community whether we like it or not.


I went to Med school because I wanted to help people – I think it is moral responsibility to help the sickness… But, under this bill, that could be the case…


Dr. George Rust, professor of Social Medicine at Morehouse


Kemp: Please skip over same comments


I have tremendous amount of experience caring for immigrant populations


I’d like to suggest that this bill has important negative consequences for health of all Georgians..


Comments confined to health impact:  Research – 50% of ER visits are primary care preventable conditions.  But this bill parses out what care is applicable to illegal immigrants with some arrogance that we can parse out the care in such a way as to not hurt someone.



Requiring docs, may create barrier to care for those that forget to bring their “papers? that day… so the treatment is delayed that muc longer


If you must pass the bill – delete all references to health – it is not necessary to support other reasons for this bill.  You won’t know a patient has a communicable disease until they examine the patient.


You should also exclude health as you don’t need another layer of bureaucracy – we don’t need more paperwork…


And if you pass with health references – don’t ask us to enforce.  These students here have not practiced in a time when there were separate waiting rooms and segregated hospital wings.  We have determined we won’t be part of it again.


This would violate our Hippocratic oath

Dr. Mercado (sp?)


Pediatrician for 15 years… comments are similar.  As a physician for grady – Health and Immigration should not be combined…. Main point is I am a physician  – I want to treat them not deal with barriers


Jesus Limus


I am Fulton County Resident – 3rd year at UCLA with MBA at Emory.  Am son of illegal immigrants who become legal in 1987.  I am story of achieving American dream…


Georgia has 280,000 undocumented illegal immigrants – I oppose this bill as it will have devastating impact on illegal aliens.  In terms of my nine siblings and me—we had immunization shots because my mother trusted American doctors.


When I treat – I see a brother or sister – not a legal or illegal alien


Many recent immigrants help make this country a better place.


With your support – more parents will get support, like mine, who will raise healthy children, Americans by birth, who are Americas future

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Now comes those opposed

Tricia Taulin (?) I am a licensed Georgia attorney… 


It is our opinion it is

  • Unconstitutional

            Because Fed Govt is sole entity to regulate immigration…

            I submitted Amicus Brief on section included in this bill in New Hampshire where it was found that using trespass ordinance – using state law to regulate presence was unconstitutional


            We are currently litigating Protect Arizona Now – with similar provisions found in this bill


  • Federal Law states say you can positively legislate – to provide benefits – you cannot negatively legislate because you are forced to create scheme to determine immigration status – you are asking state employees to determine status… you can’t do it under the Constitution – how are you going to create the scheme.
  • You can only verify status through Fed schemes – as they have a comprehensive scheme to classify people regarding immigration.  This is solely a Fed domain
  • No existing system for denial of state benefits – only federal


Other issues:


You don’t know how much this is gonna cost


Budget and Policy Institute – $200-250 million paid in local and state taxes


Bill is unrealistic as bill doesn’t take into account economic contribution of illegals and doesn’t account for drain on resources to enforce.


BPI – Medicaid expending $44 million in funds on illegals.  Compared to $250 million coming in … then illegals don’t take out more than they put in.


It’s inhumane


We are talking about this today because immigration laws are not working.  12 million undocument immigrants and only 10,000 work visas available –


This is not the state’s mandate – but Congress’ to do something about it.  We should urge Congress to solve… these piece meal approaches won’t deter


Notes murders and rape of illegals in Tifton….


Kemp: In respect to other people here – speak to the bill….


Some Senators asked question on jailer provision – we think it is unlawful to have jailer enforce immigration law – this is no different from law enforcement doing such. 

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Author’s wrap up

Rogers: I know we will meet again on this bill.  And I look forward to working with those that want to improve the bill.  This bill seeks to recognize federal law, recognize feds have gone out of their way to give tools to enforce federal law and that is what this bill seeks to do.


I will answer and questions as need be.


Butler:  Are there costs with verification – SAVE –


Rogers:  Costs – per charge processing fee – 20 cents…


Steen-Miles: What are the law enforcement issues we are trying to address/correct with this bill


Rogers: I don’t characterize as law enforcement issue but a public safety issue.  I think it is good for every community to have those with deportation orders removed…


Miles: Can you be more specific in terms with issues we are grappling with in Georgia:


Is it trafficking, homicides? What is the problem?


Rogers: if you have persons here illegally and they have felony warrants or deportation orders then removing them is a good thing. 


Miles; Give me some specific law enforcement issues that this bill addresses


Rogers:  I don’t know of any.  I would better phrase this as a public safety issue.  We are giving law enforcement a tool to remove these people.  I don’t understand why any citizen would oppose giving law enforcement this tool


Miles:  Do you have any estimate of costs by illegals


Rogers: No – other organizations do – a billion for education, emergency care – my issue is not the money – the law should be applied equally without regard to costs


We have list of 12,000 severely disable citizens eligible for benefits – if you remove illegals – then you allow one of these eligibles to receive benefits


Miles: I follow your logic – but would like to see numbers


Rogers: I don’t have that information – as cost is not my driving issue…  If you remove one person that is a good thing


(so much for using results based budgeting to determing viability of programs)


Kemp:  I appreciate your work on the bill and testimony.  Now, I want to give Zamarripa an opportunity

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Section 7

Section 7 (3:50)


Para A


Lines 3-8 – unless otherwise exempted by law (disease, K12) every agency shall verify lawful presence… if you are 18 and older.


Line 11 verification would not be made if not required by federal law…

Verification of lawful presence shall be conducted as follows:


1)      Affidavit by applicant

2)      If lawfully present – verify using VISIT, SAVE, or whatever exists at the time


REAL ID act requires our state participate in SAVE program – I assume we do that… (hmmm.. DMVS?)


State of Virginia is using SAVE to verify for all public benefits


Six features let you access Federal SAVE program


I think Georgia has MOU with SAVE program


SAVE works – another example (PILOT


Mike, did you help VA draft theirs?  Yes


Mike: VA law has been quite successful… developed from similar test placed on their drivers license.  Procedures have been in place a relatively short time now


Rogers: I want to add that SAVE program process takes less than a minute.  We are not burdening anyone.


That brings us to end of bill


Carter: Assume I am in country legally and ask to enroll my 4 year old in lottery funded pre-k – is the child excluded?


Rogers:  Is child excluded? No   Is childed verified? No  — Federal law allows K12 services


Carter :  Applicant is the child?
Rogers: Yes


Mike:: Federal law controls as to eligibility

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Continuing with Section 6

Section 6 – Verifying citizenship of folks arrested


Para 8 – when person is confined in jail – this is more clear than a simple traffic stop – whne that person is taken to jail – authorities shall determine nationality.  If not national, verify lawful admittance.  If not lawfully here – the jail keeper will use law enforcement support center to determine legality – or determine if other warrants are outstanding.


Rogers hands out doc showing that law enforcement support center is free – says this is example of federal govt establishing program to help locals enforce federal immigration law. 


Practical reality of section – if arrested and taken to jail….individual is removed


Kemp:  Are other states doing this now?


Rogers:  I don’t know… law enforcement support center has been successful  cites stats for the center…


Kemp: So, the people responsible for checing the info – is this the department or authority making the original arrest?


Rogers : Verification will be made in jail within 48 hours – procedure takes 20 mins


Butler: If individual from NC has accident and has accident does that qualify them as illegal?


Rogers: Will the NC license be disqualified under this code section?  That will be left up to those responsible for developing guidelines… (as defined in the bill)


Butler: You say persons at jail will take care of this – are all jails equipped to handle this inquiry?  Do they have access to the system?  Are they trained?


Rogers: I would certainly hope so.  This section does not alter the booking process… I would assume that every jail has contemplated idea that every jail has procedures for handling such…


Keller:  What you have got here is adding one other element that is trying to determine person’s nationality when they are booked in… I think every jail does a GCIC or NCIC check on inmates.  So outstanding warrants under normal procedures are check.  This simply adds LSC verification… 


Rogers: End result is you are only removing people you want to remove anyway


Carter: Section 6, Ls 14-17: what you are looking at is the booking officer is asked under this language to determine nationality of this person.  You are not asking that booking officer to do this at the time of confinement… aren’t you .. is the language clear here?


Rogers – we mean those currently processed into the jail


???: Are these people carrying the papers you need on them?  How do we make sure they carry these papers?


Rogers:  LSC knows who has deportation orders.  This section gets at legitimate ID – show a GA drivers license and we know you are here lawfully


Mike (H):  A US citizen with a foreign appearance – appears to me in the language – booker asks if you are a citizen?  Seems to me few would lie here as that is a serious felony (hmm… you are here illegally and suddenly you worry about a felony charge?)


Aliens are required to carry documents on their person at all times – it is a federal misdemeanor not to have these docs on you

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Now we are starting



Listed all the parties he has worked with to develop SB 529.


(The room is packed – business, minorities, 5 camera crews – a standing room only crowd in Room 310 of the Coverdell Office Building)



INA – Section 274 – unlawful employment of aliens:  defines making employment unlawful.  Part of 1986 Immigration Reform Act.


Says farm labor must subscribe to this prohibition.


Can’t continue to employ alien once you are aware that alien is illegal


Section 4: Labor through contract – a person who uses any form to obtain labor of unauthorized alien – is considered to have hired the alien.


(one wonders why we need the bill if all of this is already illegal



USCA 8-16-1611, 1641




Section 1611 – ineligible for public benefits – exceptions – emergency healthcare, immunizations, etc


A federal public benefit – defined any grant contract loan provided by agency of United States and any post-secondary education  by appropriated funds of the United States …


Section 1621 – State and Local Public Benefits – important to make distinction that this is a federal issue only – if it were only a federal issue – then why did they define state and local benefits here…


Rogers now wants to go through the bill:


Calls Attorney from FAIR to the table:


LC185343S – Committee Sub to SB 529


Mike (Hefman???) – not a licensed Georgia lawyer – his comments are from perspective of federal immigration law


Section 2 of the Bill


Public Employees and Public Contracts


Para A – Federal work authorization program (PILOT Program) – authorizes legal status of someone already hired.  Currently called BASIC PILOT program — $150 million in federal dollars to help with this program.  (Packet to committee has docs referring to the program)


Tony Brown – Society for HR Mgt – “I don’t know how I lived without PILOT?.  Allows you to electronically and instantaneously verify citizenship




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