By Charles H. Kuck

From the perspective of a lifelong Republican, I am always troubled when the State Legislature starts looking at ways to “fix” a problem by getting the government more involved in the lives of its citizens, rather than less involved. That is absolutely the case with the currently pending legislation on immigration. A detailed review of HB 87 and SB 40 reveals that these bills do not reform illegal immigration nor do they enforce laws related to illegal immigration. What they do is increase taxes on every citizen of Georgia by increasing government regulation, create unfunded mandates for every county, city, town, and village in Georgia, and create new private rights of action against every Georgia polity that will result in hundreds of lawsuits that will drain taxpayer coffers and result in little, if any real change on the issue of illegal immigration.

This type of legislation is popular because it gives the perception that the state is doing something, which the federal government is purportedly not doing—enforcing federal laws on illegal immigration. The problem with this notion is two-fold. First, the federal government is doing more than it has EVER done in enforcing the laws on undocumented immigration. The Obama Administration is spending literally billions of taxpayer dollars building fences, hiring border patrol agents, detaining undocumented immigrants and actually deported 400,000 people last year—a record. Second, these proposals do not create any greater degree of enforcement than already exists under current state and federal law.

By September 30, 2013, everyone arrested in Georgia is going to be run through the Secure Communities program, and if they are unlawfully present in the United States they are being held for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to pick up within 48 hours.

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