Sunday, March 20, 2011

Georgia Immigration-Themed Legislative Rundown (post Cross Over Day)

Now, a Summary:
Three alive bills
- The Senate and House versions of the Show Me Your Papers/ Arizona copycat bills, SB 40 and HB 87 cross to the opposite chamber for committee hearings.(SB 40 now in House Judiciary Non-Civil and HB 87 in Senate Judiciary)
- The SB 162 bill that makes a DUI a felony on first occurrence ONLY for an undocumented person, is in House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee (we believe this passed the Senate in a fluke and can be stalled out on the House side, but watch for alerts)

Bills that were stopped and cannot proceed as written*:
SB 7 - Hurt and Run - denial of workers comp to an undocumented worker
SB 27 - Mandatory E-VERIFY
SB 104 - Arizona copycat bill on steroids
SB 172 - Mandatory 287g for counties over 100k population
HB 59 - Destroy the Dream ban on college access even at out of state tuition rate
HB 72 - English Only for drivers license written test
*we do watch for attempts to amend other bills with language from these failed proposals

This Week:
The week began with the Senate vote on SB 40, the Senate Arizona copycat version that many considered less comprehensive than the House "Show Me Your Papers" HB 87. This bill is still considered by progressives to be totally unacceptable and unworkable & very bad for Georgia. Many followed the extended debate that saw bipartisan opposition, There were Senators who spoke against the bill and then voted for it, and other nuanced maneuvers.

The 34-21 passage included three Republicans voting No. Two of those three thought the bill unworkable but the other thought the bill not tough enough. One excused absence, non-voting Senator (Democrat) would have voted No. And two Democrats voted for. Since there were a couple of Republican Senators that expressed problems with the bill prior to the vote (mostly from districts that are heavily influenced by agricultural interests) progressives were disappointed that they didn't have the political courage to vote accordingly. In addition to the pressure on Republicans to support a Party priority, there was also a feeling that the Senate version had to be kept alive to be "competition" for the more onerous HB 87. Everyone expects that whatever emerges as a final version of a "Show Me Your Papers Bill" will be the result of a conference committee re-write once the two bills work their way through the opposite chamber processes. 

Due to the knowledge that some of the Republican Yes votes were weak, there was a motion to reconsider the vote. This motion would give Senators the opportunity to change their minds. It would have taken a switch of at least 6 Senators to have been successful. If this number could not be achieved, there would be no reason for a reconsideration vote to be taken. And that is what happened. So in sum, there WERE Senators willing to reconsider but not unless they were covered by at least 6 others. SB 40 moves to the House as passed Monday 3-14 by the original vote of 34-21. It was not "passed again" on 3-16, there simply was no vote on reconsideration, the 3-14 vote stands.

The infamous Crossover Day came with the intense drama of not only working to turn Senators on SB 40, but also working, waiting and preparing for potential House action on HB 59 "Destroy the Dream" and the tabled HB 72 English Only bill-which HB 72 English fell under a different procedure because it was a Tabled bill. It was not subject to the Supplemental Calendar process, it actually could have been called at any time in between other bills. The Speaker could entertain a Motion for Remove from the Table. He never recognized a member to make that motion, so this bill technically expired just as the other bills failing to pass by Crossover Day. 

Next Week:
The House and Senate are in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (start time is 1:00 pm Monday and 10:00 am Tuesday and Wednesday)
No Committee meetings have yet been scheduled for any immigration-related bills in either the House or Senate, but they could come up quick. Only a few committees have posted their hearings for next week. 

Alive Bills:
SB 162 Felony DUI for first violation ONLY if undocumented, has already been assigned to House Judiciary Non-Civil
SB 40 Show Me Your Papers (Senate version), we are sure will also go to Judiciary Non-Civil, but the assignment is official Monday
HB 87 Show Me Your Papers (House version) is already in Senate Judiciary, but not yet scheduled for hearing

The bills all go through the same procedure in the opposite chamber as they went through already.

Both Chambers:
1- Committee hearing or hearings. (Possible sub-committee assignment before full committee hearing, but not really likely for 40 or 87 but SB 162 may be buried in a sub-committee)
2- If passed by Committee, it will go to Rules
3- Rules decides if or when bill gets a floor vote

from Chamber to Chamber:
4- (a) If House votes yes to SB 40 in committee and the floor, it will go back to the Senate for a vote to approve the House passed version of that Senate bill.
(b) If the Senate votes yes to HB 87 in committee and the floor, it will go back to the House for a vote to approve the Senate version of that House bill.

5. If either chamber approves immediately the bills sent back to them from the opposite chamber, then the bill passes and goes to the Governor. Whichever bill is acted upon first becomes it.

6. if the rival chambers will NOT wholesale agree to the versions of the bill sent back to them from the other side.

7. This "disagree" posture will trigger what they call Conference Committee. Three members of the Senate are chosen to meet with three chosen members from the House.

8. The Conference Committee meets to take both bills and try to agree on a re-write that potentially includes portions of both bills. They have total latitude in this re-write process, 

9. Once the Conference Committee comes to agreement, their re-write goes to both the House and Senate for a vote to agree or disagree.

there are only 10 working days to do this. The 10 days will stretch into at least the second week of April. Although we do know they plan to be in recess April 4-8, the other days past the 28th are not yet announced.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Monday, March, 7th - 
Candlelight vigil for the beginning of the end of the HOPE scholarship
Georgia Capitol steps, 6 pm -12 am

On Monday, March 7th, students, workers, and community members will gather at the Georgia State Capitol for a candlelight vigil commemorating the death of the HOPE scholarship. On Friday morning, the Senate Higher Education committee approved House Bill 326, which will DRASTICALLY cut the HOPE scholarship. Under H.B. 326, the only people receiving full HOPE aid will be those who graduated from high school with a 3.7, got a 1200 on their SAT, and are able to maintain a 3.3 through college. This also applies to students currently in college!

Bear in mind that the ones who will be hardest hit by these cuts are people of color and low income students. Georgia politicians, intentional or not, are actively re-segregating our schools, as the end result will be a tendency that favors those who are able to afford a tutor, those with a stable household, and those who are able to study instead of work. This is in line with HB 59, which will bar undocumented students from being able to attend the university system of Georgia. The result of these bills will be an educational system in Georgia that favors the rich.

Georgia politicians are PURPOSELY trying to pass this bill in less than a week after it was introduced so that students and workers don’t have time to mobilize and fight back! For the past week, we have been at the capitol protesting daily and letting our voices be heard. But guess what? We're not stopping! This is just the beginning, because we know that if we don't stand together and fight now, things will only get worse.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011



The House will  be voting on the anti-immigrant Arizona Copycat bill, HB 87 TOMORROW, March 3rd in the morning.  We are calling for a RALLY at 2:00pm (the time changed due to the schedule of the vote).  We do not know yet the outcome (but predictions are looking bad), so we must be prepared.  So if it loses, then we celebrate but if it passes, then we MUST be out there to SHAME the legislators who voted on it, and to immediately begin to pressure the Senate to oppose its version and the Governor to commit to VETO it.  Democratic legislators, including Leader Stacey Abrams, will be joining us. 


WHAT:  Rally for Immigrant Rights and Against HB 87!  Urge the Governor to Commit to Veto the Bill, Urge the Senate to Vote DOWN its version.

WHERE:  Front steps of the capitol, Washington side.

WHEN: 2pm!!! 

WHY:   To show the media and the public that we will not be silent as immigrants are attacked and scapegoated.  To urge the Governor to Commit to Veto the Bill, and Urge the Senate to Vote DOWN its version.  If is approved tomorrow, the fight still goes on.  This is not a done deal BUT we must be out there to show them we are serious and will not be silent!

For questions call Lisa at 404.567.9451 or email


Action Needed NOW on HB 87! Up For Floor Vote TOMORROW!!!

HB 87, “show me your papers” bill will be up for a vote on the House floor tomorrow! please refer to the ACLU of Georgia fact sheet,, to learn more about how this bill would hurt our state and our communities and why we need to oppose it forcefully!


Please take a minute TODAY and tomorrow morning to call your house rep. to ask them to vote NO on this racial profiling, anti-immigrant bill (you can refer to the talking points in the fact sheet). 
Find out who represents you in the GA House here:

Please also take a moment to call the Speaker of the House and a few key Republicans:
Speaker of the House David Ralston: (404) 656-5020
Rep. Amy Carter 404.651.7737
Rep. Doug Collins 404.651.7737
Rep. Christian Coomer 404.656.0109
Rep. Sharon Cooper 404.656.5069
Rep. Penny Houston 404.463.2247
Rep. Mike Jacobs 404.656.0152
Rep. Doug McKillip 404.656.0177
Rep. Rusty Kidd 404.656.0202
Rep. B.J. Pak 404.656.0254

Please circulate this alert far and wide!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Open Letter to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston on HB 87 by Atty Charles Kuck

Leading Immigration Attorney, Charles Kuck gives his analysis of Georgia’s Arizona’s SB 1070 copycat bill, HB 87:

ACTION Needed on Key Republicans....No on HB 87! Yes to Immigrant Rights!

Thank you to all who responded to the previous action to call the Governor, Lt Governor and House Speaker.  Please continue to pass that action along.  We now need to add calls and emails  to key Republicans who are potentially on the fence.
Remember, the vote on HB 87 and HB 59 is ANY DAY NOW.

Please take 5 minutes to make calls, send emails and spread this action!

What Happens in Arizona, Must Stop in Arizona!

Please take 5 minutes TODAY for immigrant justice and human dignity...and forward this email!
Background:  The GA legislature has introduced several pieces of anti-immigrant legislation, including Arizona copy cat bills, HB 87 and SB 40.  Just this morning, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee passed HB 87 out of committee, which means a vote on the House Floor is imminent.  HB 59—which would deny public higher education to undocumented students—is also going to the House floor soon for a vote.  We need as many people to make calls, calls, and more calls, as well as emails, emails, and more emails, to ask our elected leaders to put an end to this scapegoating and immigrant bashing.

Call/Email Republicans who might be on the fence.  We cannot assume how they will vote.  Let’s put some pressure on!

“I urge you to vote “No” Vote on the Arizona Copycat, HB 87, and all other anti-immigrant legislation, including HB 59.  These bills are making Georgia look bad in the eyes of the country and the world.  Any legislation that pushes immigrant workers out of Georgia, or denies educational opportunity, will harm our state economically and morally.  As a Georgia resident, I urge you to oppose these bills.”

Rep. Amos Anderson 404.657.8534
Rep. Paul Battles
Rep. Tommy Benton 404.656.0177
Rep. Buzz Brockway 404.656.0188
Rep. Amy Carter 404.651.7737
Rep. David Casas 404.656.0254
Rep. Doug Collins 404.651.7737
Rep. Christian Coomer 404.656.0109
Rep. Sharon Cooper 404.656.5069
Rep. Harry Geisinger 404.656.0254
Rep. Gerald Greene 404.656.0202
Rep. Rob Hanner 404.656.7859
Rep. Doug Holt 404.656.0152
Rep. Penny Houston 404.463.2247
Rep. Mike Jacobs 404.656.0152
Rep. Rusty Kidd 404.656.0202
Majority Whip Edward Lindsey 404.656.5024
Rep. Judy Manning 404.656.7868
Rep. Howard Maxwell 404.656.5143
Rep. Doug McKillip 404.656.0177
Rep. B.J. Pak 404.656.0254
Rep. Ann Purcell 404.656.5139
Rep. Lynne Riley 404.656.0188
Rep. Ron Stephens 404.656.5115
Rep. Wendell Willard 404.656.5125

And don’t forget to call your Representative if you haven’t yet….

You can find your Representative at:

Monday, February 28, 2011

And They Just KEEP-A-COMIN': Another Anti-Immigrant Bill to be Introduced TOMORROW

This bill is to drop tomorrow; no further info. is currently available. 

Please note that there is already a plan in place to have all counties in GA to enter into S-Comm as soon as the feds can manage such.

As for 287(g), the feds have to be on board for it to happen, regardless of whatever sanctions the GA legislature is to  devise to force localities to enter into it.

By Senators Bethel of the 54th, Murphy of the 27th, Balfour of the 9th, Hill of the 32nd, McKoon of the 29th and others:

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 4 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to jails, so as to require all jails to participate in the federal Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities initiative; to require certain jurisdictions to enter into memorandums of agreement with the federal government under Section 287(g) of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act; to provide sanctions for failure to do so; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.