While the national news frenzy is focused on terrorists in America and the varying degrees of determination of presidential candidates to address them, Georgians may want to take some time to pay attention to what happens in the coming General Assembly in Atlanta on immigration-related safety matters.
Republican-controlled Georgia is issuing drivers licenses, official state photo ID cards and public benefits – including unemployment benefits – to the illegal aliens President Obama has officially promised to not deport under his dubious “deferred action” on enforcement program. About 20,000 illegals in Georgia have benefited.
The powerful business lobby under the Gold Dome has ordered this reward practice to quietly continue. And much of the Republican base has apparently accepted the influence of these un-elected rulers as normal and politics-as-usual. But there is now a push to at least alter the actual drivers document given to these “‘victims of borders” who lack legal immigration status so that it doesn’t look almost exactly like the ones U.S. citizens are given and use as ID when they vote. Or board an airliner. Or rent a car. Or buy explosives.
Senate Bill 6, sponsored by state Senator Josh McKoon, (R-Columbus), was originally written to follow the intent of pre-Obama state law by excluding all illegal aliens from a Georgia drivers license. It has been modified to try to safeguard our security and still get past the powerful Georgia Chamber of Commerce lobby.
In part, the 2016 version of SB 6 would change the appearance of the document given to illegals so that there is no confusion on the status of the bearer. It would not be a “license” but a ‘driver privilege card’ that is valid only for driving. And it would have fingerprints from the illegal alien bearer and be brightly marked “illegal alien” or “no legal status.”
As a yardstick on how far GOP Georgia has moved to the left, it is important to note the fact that illegal aliens cannot get any type of official document that allows them to drive in Mexico.
Accompanying this column is a descriptive appearance of the official Georgia ID card issued to illegal aliens– but despite repeated requests from McKoon, the Department of Driver’s Services (DDS) has declined to provide an image of that photo ID. DDS administers the Georgia ID program and issues the ID cards. Their office says they don’t have an image of the document they issue.
Don’t look for a scathing, breathless investigative news revelation on this refusal of a taxpayer-funded state office led by a politically-appointed bureaucrat defying a legitimate request from Senator McKoon. This writer personally detailed the DDS’ refusal to forward the requested image to a room full of reporters at a July press conference in the Capitol. It was met with yawns and the same glares all pro-enforcement Americans get from liberals.
This real-life scenario provides a glimpse into what goes on under the Gold Dome scenario not only in politics, but in “journalism.”
As someone who has spent the last decade watching unreported legislative antics under the Gold Dome up-close and in person, this writer urges all voters to pay attention to this issue. Maybe get some solid, irreversible commitments from your legislators about whose side they are on. There is currently no bill in the House to address any part of this situation.
It is also important to note that the current written test for a Georgia driver’s license for permanent residents is administered in 11 languages in Georgia. Legislators will have the opportunity to allow all Georgia voters to answer a ballot question when we vote for president in November 2016 on changing that fact and making English the official constitutional language of government in the Peach State.
Readers who hope for change in Republican-controlled Georgia should remember who works for whom, and pay close attention to Republican state legislators in the coming election year.
D.A. King of Marietta is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society and is a nationally recognized authority on immigration. Twitter @DAKDIS