The veto effort on Sen. Larry Walker’s SB 354 continues: D.A. King guest column in the Houston Home Journal today

APRIL 13, 2024 BY D.A. KING

Pro-enforcement immigration advocates push for veto of Sen Walker bill – SB 354

D.A. King
Guest columnist

D.A. KingTaking a pro-enforcement position on illegal immigration in Georgia, we think the Republicans made a grave mistake in passing Sen. Larry Walker’s bill, SB 354. We have organized an effort to convince Gov. Kemp to veto that legislation. Here, we offer an education readers will not see on “the news.”

Republican-controlled General Assembly passed a nationally covered bill aimed at illegal immigration in the session just ended. HB 1105, “The Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act” is essentially an effort at forcing compliance with laws against “sanctuary city” policies put in place in 2006 when Sonny Perdue was in his first term as governor. It’s a law that says we should enforce the law.

According to federal authorities Georgia is home to more illegal aliens than live in Arizona. The leftist Georgia Budget and Policy Institute says more illegals call the Peach State home than do “green card” holders. How many illegals? Somewhere around 400,000 – 500,000 is a common, expert estimate.

GA state Senator Larry Walker (R- Perry) Since 2006, Georgia’s Republican elected officials have put more than forty state laws in place aimed at discouraging more “undocumented workers” from migrating into our state. The proven effective method for that commonsense task is to deny jobs, benefits, and services to foreigners here illegally.

Which brings us to another 2006 law, OCGA 50-36-1, “Verification of Lawful Presence within the United States.” The short explanation is that to prevent illegal aliens from accessing public benefits, applicants are checked for immigration status.

The system requires an applicant for occupational licenses to essentially swear on an affidavit that they are not here illegally. False swearing is a felony. Then that information is run through a federal verification system known as “SAVE.” It’s all carefully designed to be part of the occupational and professional licensing process.

If the licensing process goes away, the immigration verification goes too. The chances of stopping illegals from accessing our jobs, benefits, and services decrease significantly.

Believe it or not, Senate Bill 354 from Sen. Larry Walker (R-Perry) removes the requirement for having an occupational license for low-skilled personnel in the barbering/cosmetology industry.

To repeat the explanation above: This will end the immigration check built into the existing licensing procedure for covered workers. It is an open invitation to “the undocumented.”

Pushed by powerful special interest groups, the stated goal of Sen. Walker’s bill is to make it easier to go to work in Georgia. Indeed.

SB 354 is a product of ‘Senate Study Committee on Occupational Licensing,’ created by a resolution (SR 85) sponsored by Sen. Walker in 2023. According to Senator Walker, who also served as committee chairman, “…this state has some of the country’s more burdensome occupational licensing laws” and has “onerous occupational licensing requirements.”

Apparently eliminating the immigration verification makes the process much less “burdensome and onerous.” We don’t agree. And we recall that Gov Kemp voted in favor of creating the above-described verification process as state Senator in 2006.

We hope to convince Gov. Kemp to veto Sen. Walker’s bill. Readers who agree with our mission can help fight illegal immigration in Georgia by calling Gov. Kemp’s office (404-656-1776) to leave a message with a nice young staffer to ask him to veto SB 354.

We think it’s commonsense.

Created in 2005, the 501 c 4 non-profit Dustin Inman Society advocates for enforcement of immigration laws. Mr. King has assisted Georgia legislators with immigration related matters for two decades under the Gold Dome. He is also proprietor of .