Friday, March 24, 2006


Immigration Update

Illegal immigration has been a hot topic this week. The Senate Democrats are doing everything in their power (mostly in Senate Judiciary) to halt any meaningful reform regarding the estimated 12 million illegals that have already crossed into our borders. It is amazing that the Democratic Party sees this is an opportune time to play politics instead of protecting our national security. I'm sure that the American people - especially in the South, where this issue carries much more weight - will remind them of such in the upcoming elections.

On a related note, Tennesseans for Immigration Control and Reform sent me the following message yesterday regarding how our neighbors to the south are handling the immigration issue at the state level. I thought it prudent to post this for all to read.


Tennesseans for Immigration Control and Reform

The big Georgia demagnetization bill, SB 529, passed the Georgia House today, Thursday, 123-51. It had already passed the Senate. The bill now returns to the Senate to reconcile changes made in the House, including an amendment to tax remittances (wire transfers of money to foreign countries) by illegal aliens.

The bill would curb taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens and stop/regulate the employers who hire them.

This bill is not everything we want, but it is major and represents many years of effort by Georgia immigration-control activists. After I moved from Georgia, I continued to help our associates there as I could. I sent information and encouragement to the sponsor of this bill, state Sen. Chip Rogers. He used to be a radio talk-show host, I believe. Rogers had the will and persistence to see this through and sought input from many people.

Rogers made some changes to his original bill. Now, in the employee verification section of the Georgia bill, farmers would not be financially penalized if their crew chiefs hired illegal workers. Farmers who need labor often hire crew chiefs who act as subcontractors, sometimes recruiting workers who are unlawfully in the country. That is one area of compromise (in response to agribusiness lobbyists) that dilutes the original bill. Rogers made other changes to his bill, some I can understand, some I think he should have resisted. He made changes he thought were fair and necessary in order to pass as much of the original bill as he could.

The bill's value to Tennessee is as a model, an incentive, and a source of inspiration and encouragement for our lawmakers. I hope the one we get -- someday; it probably won't be this year -- will be tougher.

Donna Locke

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