Creative Loafing: Libertarians: Illegal immigration bill is quite the terrible idea! | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta

Libertarians: Illegal immigration bill is quite the terrible idea! | Atlanta News & Opinion Blog | Fresh Loaf | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Libertarians: Illegal immigration bill is quite the terrible idea!

Posted by Thomas Wheatley on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Republican state Rep. Matt Ramsey’s House Bill 87 — which critics say includes a provision that’s eerily similar to Arizona’s immigration law — doesn’t have a fan in the Libertarian Party of Georgia. The party thinks the legislation could have “catastrophic effects on the economic well-being of the state, as well as in the lives of its residents, if passed.” Via a party press release:

As proposed, HB 87 would make criminals of many otherwise law abiding Georgians trying to make a living. The bill makes it a criminal offense by merely “encouraging” an illegal immigrant to enter the state. It also allows almost any citizen to bring a lawsuit against any business, local or State government agency or official by just accusing them of violating immigration law. Further, HB 87 burdens every employer doing business in Georgia with using the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system. […]One other aspect troubling the Libertarian Party of Georgia is the provision within that allows law enforcement officers to indefinitely detain anyone unable to provide their driver’s license or other “proof” document. HB 87 allows for anyone forgetting their driver’s license to be jailed even after release would normally be required without probable cause. It also re-introduces the secure and verifiable document issue, something that has landed the state in the courts as a defendant for the way Georgia tried to use it in election law… another action that could cost the state significant legal bills to defend.

“This bill is a reaction to a poor national immigration policy, and it acts to treat a symptom, rather than cure the underlying illness. That illness is the cost of the welfare state, and neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to address it,” explained Brett Bittner, the Party’s Executive Director. “Instead, they’ve politicized the immigration issue to the point that we can no longer have a discussion about a solution that works for every Georgian.”

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