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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Georgia: Immigration bill gaining more support

    http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com

    Immigration bill gaining more support

    02/28/2006 -

    By Dave Williams
    Staff Writer
    dave.williams@gwinnettdailypost.com

    ATLANTA — Illegal immigrants are overburdening Georgia’s health care system, undercutting wages paid to legal workers and contributing to the state’s gang problem, supporters of a crackdown on illegals said Monday.

    But opponents of a Senate bill aimed at people in the state illegally continued to hammer at the potential harm it would do to illegal immigrants and society at large, particularly a provision denying health care to those who cannot prove their legal status.

    Picking up on arguments aired last week, they asked the Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee to remove any references to health care from the measure.

    The committee heard from more than 20 speakers on the second of two days of public hearings.

    Chairman Brian Kemp, R-Athens, said the panel would vote on the bill this afternoon.

    The legislation would require state and local government agencies to verify the legal status of people seeking most public benefits.

    Emergency care, immunizations, treatment for communicable diseases and K-12 education are not included because federal courts have ruled that those services must be provided to anyone.

    In addition, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, has agreed to exempt services to children and prenatal care.

    The bill also targets employers in two ways. It would prohibit government agencies from entering into contracts with businesses that employ illegal workers and discourage private companies from hiring illegals by denying tax benefits to those who do.

    Last week’s hearing was dominated by health care professionals opposed to the bill.

    But on Monday, Dr. Geraldine Wade urged lawmakers to pass the measure to relieve hospital emergency rooms of an influx of illegal immigrants who use them for non-emergencies, crowding out seriously ill patients.

    “They come in for minor ailments,’’ said Wade, who has worked in several emergency rooms in metro Atlanta, including the Gwinnett Hospital System. “High volumes of non-emergency care are greatly jeopardizing our system.’’

    But other health professionals and their representatives argued that the bill’s verification requirements would drive more illegals — not fewer — into emergency rooms because they will forego preventive care and not seek help until they’re very sick.

    “If we create a climate of fear in this state, we’ll drive folks to expensive emergency rooms, where federal law requires them to see anybody who walks in,’’ said Earl Rogers, a lobbyist for the Georgia Hospital Association.

    “I’d rather treat them on the front end, when I can save a lot of money, rather than on the back end, where it’s going to cost a whole lot more.’’

    Others complained about other aspects of the illegal immigrant problem.
    Jeff Hermann, of Covington, who runs a landscaping business in Walton County, said he has struggled to make ends meet because he won’t hire illegal workers, while many larger competitors don’t have such scruples.

    “It’s hard to be a little guy ... in competition with people who hire illegal aliens and pay them $4 to $5 an hour,’’ he said.

    Two other speakers complained that illegal immigrants have contributed to gang activity, both in suburban counties outside of Atlanta and in the inner city.

    But beyond any problems caused by people who have entered the U.S. illegally is the fact that they’re breaking the law, said D.A. King, president of the Dustin Inman Society, named in honor of a 16-year-old Woodstock youth struck and killed in 2000 by a car allegedly driven by an illegal immigrant.

    “(The bill) will encourage the state of Georgia to begin obeying the rule of law,’’ King said.

    Some of Georgia’s major industries had problems with the original version of Rogers’ bill.

    But on Monday, representatives of building contractors and the state’s carpet industry endorsed changes Rogers has agreed to make to the legislation.

    For one thing, it doesn’t hold contractors responsible for subcontractors who hire illegal workers.
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  2. #2
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    I'd rather not treat them to medical care at all. Mexico refused to treat an American bitten by a shark until and unless they had the cash in hand. We should abide by the way THEY do business.

    RR
    The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. " - Lloyd Jones

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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Any word on the vote?

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    I haven't checked on the vote. I also had this article but never had the time to post it earlier.


    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/ ... legal.html

    Bill on illegals gets first test
    Committee expected to vote today


    By CARLOS CAMPOS
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 02/28/06
    The Georgia Legislature's version of comprehensive immigration reform is expected to come up for its first vote today in a Senate committee.

    Among its provisions, SB 529, the "Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act," seeks to make sure that adult illegal immigrants do not receive public benefits, such as food stamps and public housing, and that contractors who hire undocumented workers are not able to claim their salaries as a tax write-off.

    The Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, which meets at

    3:30 p.m. in Room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building, is expected to vote on the bill, said committee Chairman Sen. Brian Kemp (R-Athens).

    On Monday, the committee held the second of two public hearings on SB 529. Supporters of the bill say it's needed to combat the negative effect illegal immigration is having on public resources.

    Dr. Geraldine Wade said illegal immigrants were using emergency rooms as their primary source of health care, taking up vital spaces that should be reserved for true medical emergencies.

    Wade, an internal medicine and pediatric physician who said she had worked in emergency rooms, also said illegal immigrants can bring infectious diseases into the U.S.

    "We're doing a major disservice to the American health care system by letting this go forward," Wade told the committee.

    Maria Litland of Cobb County, a legal immigrant from Austria, testified about her efforts to become a U.S. citizen.

    Litland noted that she has had to fill out forms inquiring about her health and whether she had a criminal record.

    "I resent that the state of Georgia and the federal government does not ensure our tax money does not go to the people who were born here, including legal immigrants," she said.

    "Illegal aliens are not immigrants. I am proud to be a legal immigrant. I had to jump through hoops to come here."

    Last week at the first public hearing, most speakers — including emergency room physicians and medical students — assailed the bill.

    Some doctors worry that certain provisions in the bill will deter illegal immigrants from seeking primary medical care when they get sick — ultimately resulting in them winding up in already-burdened and more expensive emergency rooms when they get seriously ill.

    Some continued Monday to urge legislators to consider removing language in the bill that addresses taxpayer-provided health care.

    "Our concern is if we create a climate of fear ... it drives folks to that expensive emergency room," said Earl Rogers, a lobbyist for the Georgia Hospital Association.

    Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), sponsor of SB 529, noted that the bill did not seek to deny any taxpayer-funded medical services for which illegal immigrants are already declared ineligible by federal law.

    He told the committee Monday he was willing to put language in the bill to spell out those intentions more clearly.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.accessnorthga.com/news/ap_ne ... p?ID=71940

    Immigration bill passes Senate committee

    The Associated Press - ATLANTA

    After weeks of heated debate, a bill cracking down on illegal immigrants and the companies that hire them moved one step closer to a vote in the state Senate on Tuesday.

    The Senate committee considering the plan voted 6-2 to recommend it be passed by the full Senate.

    The panel's roughly 30 minutes of discussion on the plan _ which would deny some state benefits to undocumented adults and use the tax code to penalize employers with illegals on their payrolls _ was in sharp contrast to a pair of hours-long hearings held during the past two weeks.

    "I think everyone's concerns were heard," said Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, the plan's sponsor. "We've bent over backward to alleviate some of those concerns."

    The bill also requires jailers to verify the people they arrest are in the country legally, sets up "human trafficking" penalties that mirror federal law and toughens penalties for people who sell false documents to illegal immigrants.

    Supporters of the plan say it will make Georgia safer by removing illegal residents with arrest warrants or deportation orders against them and free up state services now being used improperly by illegals.

    Critics call the plan unconstitutional, saying it unfairly targets members of Georgia's foreign-born communities drawn to the state by industries that rely on their labor.

    Sen. Sam Zamarripa, D-Atlanta, the Senate's lone Hispanic member, worked with Rogers on crafting the bill's final version. He said it has been improved, eliminating provisions that would have denied services to children of illegal immigrants and barred those children from attending Georgia colleges and universities.

    But he still opposes the plan.

    "I still maintain this is a federal issue," Zamarripa said. "We cannot be a substitute for the failure of a national policy."

    Estimates on the number of illegal immigrants in the state and nation vary widely. A recent study by the nonpartisan Georgia Budget and Policy Institute estimated that there are between 228,000 and 250,000 illegal immigrants in Georgia.

    With approval from the Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, the bill now awaits action from the Senate Rules committee, which decides which bills appear on the Senate floor for a vote.

    No date has been set for that panel to consider the bill.
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  6. #6
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    I'm finally back online and SOOOO relieved to hear they passed the bill onto the full Senate. I've been waiting for a call from somebody all afternon.






  7. #7
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    I will get an alert out on this now.

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  8. #8
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    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    "I still maintain this is a federal issue," Zamarripa said. "We cannot be a substitute for the failure of a national policy."

    This is the tact most of the Pro-Illegal crowd takes. They know full well that the head illegal-alien supporter will do nothing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dman1200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justanamerican
    "I still maintain this is a federal issue," Zamarripa said. "We cannot be a substitute for the failure of a national policy."

    This is the tact most of the Pro-Illegal crowd takes. They know full well that the head illegal-alien supporter will do nothing.
    Amen, it's nothing more than a pass the buck/bait and switch tactic. Yeah it's a federal issue, so that's justification to just sit idly by and allow our states to be flooded with the so called huddled masses? Just because these maniacs want us to throw in the towel and surrender our nation doesn't mean it's going to happen.
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