This writer got it wrong in this space Monday on an important detail of a Senate amendment to Rep. Jesse Petrea’s House Bill 452 requiring the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to share information when the feds release criminal aliens instead of deporting them. Regarding an amendment added to the bill in the Senate Public Safety Committee, I wrote “somewhere along the line the Harper-Albers language that watered down a well-written and wise piece of public safety legislation should be removed.”
It turns out that language added in the Harper-Albers amendment had already been discarded. That occurred last Friday when Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert added the language from S.B.1. In its place different restrictive language was added.
I regret the oversight.
Now, the Senate wants the GBI to only provide information to sheriffs and the public on criminal aliens who have “committed a felony.” Criminal aliens released back into Georgia who had been convicted of misdemeanors would be excluded from the information sharing.
Here’s the bottom line: The House has rejected the addition of SB 1 language and now has the option of insisting that Petrea’s bill be approved as it passed out of the House with a 144-26 bipartisan majority.
By the way, two metro-area sheriffs are very curious about why the Senate wants to limit the information they would get from the GBI about criminal aliens released into their counties.
Today, Rep. Petrea will be fighting against the latest Senate-added restrictions in his H.B. 452.