The news that a Mexican illegal alien amassed a large fortune by illegally operating a construction company while employing other illegal aliens and living in a Bartow County compound — complete with a security wall and armed guards – presents a golden opportunity for Gov. Brian Kemp. That is, if the new governor wants to make clear his determination to fight illegal immigration.

It cannot be said enough: The chief cause of illegal immigration is illegal employment. Reduce the former and see less of the latter. Fewer illegal aliens equals fewer crimes committed by illegal aliens. It seems obvious.

As the anti-enforcement Georgia Budget and Policy Institute was kind enough to remind us last summer, Georgia is home to more illegal aliens than Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders). Only the most politically blind and naïve still hold out hope that congress will accomplish anything meaningful on ending the illegal immigration crisis.

The logical conclusion is that state and local governments should use all available tools to make Georgia as inhospitable as possible to illegal employers and illegal aliens. That would include unapologetic enforcement of state laws already in place.

Which brings us back to the governor and Juan Antonio Perez, the illegal alien recently busted by the feds and who reportedly had somewhere around 200 employees “almost all of them here illegally.”

Kemp should consider having the GBI obtain the employment records from all of the companies operated by Perez, if he has any. Including the I-9 forms. The I-9 form is the outdated, 20th century paper device used to collect and record identity verification documents presented by new employees to the employer.

It is impossible for an illegal alien to complete the I-9 process without use of false or stolen ID. Georgia has a state law for that.

Intended to severely punish ID fraud in the process of obtaining employment, Georgia’s  “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” (HB 87) put OCGA 16-9-121.1 in place.

“Offense of aggravated identity fraud”

(a)  A person commits the offense of aggravated identity fraud when he or she willfully and fraudulently uses any counterfeit or fictitious identifying information concerning a real, fictitious, or deceased person with intent to use such counterfeit or fictitious identifying information for the purpose of obtaining employment.”

The law says that a first offense “shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both…”

To our knowledge, the law has not been enforced.

The governor can send a strong signal to illegal aliens who have little reason to avoid living and working in Georgia by application of this statute and prosecution of the victims of borders who now fearlessly commit identity fraud to reside, work illegally and lower wages in Georgia. Let’s start with the black market labor that worked for Juan Antonio Perez.

Pro-enforcement conservatives are watching.

D.A. King is president of the Marietta-based Dustin Inman Society.

 

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