AJC – Your morning jolt: Rare agreement on the flaws of an illegal immigration bill | Political Insider

Your morning jolt: Rare agreement on the flaws of an illegal immigration bill | Political Insider

D.A. King, the illegal immigration activist, and representatives of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Official get along like a house on fire.

If that house is also filled with kegs of gunpowder and roofing nails.

State officials have been known to insist that King and Jerry Gonzales, GALEO’s executive director, sit on opposite sides of the room at hearings.

So when the two sides agree on anything to do with immigration, we must pay attention. This morning’s topic is SB 40, state Sen. Jack Murphy’s attempt to require all businesses in Georgia to use the federal computer registry called E-Verify – or something like it – to make sure their hires are legal U.S. residents.

The bill includes this exemption, presumably intended for farmers:

This Code section shall not apply to any person or entity who has filed an H-1 or H-2 application, or similar type of application, with the United States Department of Labor.

Last week, King labeled the loophole “preposterous.”

“On illegal employment, the bill’s author has excluded so many industries from the badly needed required statewide use of the no-cost federal E-Verify system so as to make it a parody of an employment enforcement bill,” King said, promising to see the bill changed or killed.

King is not an immigration lawyer. But Charles Kuck, who calls himself the “token Republican” on GALEO’s board of directors, does have a shingle.

More than that, Kuck is also the past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. And Kuck says King is right.

On Friday, during a break in a hearing on state Rep. Matt Ramsey’s immigration bill, Kuck noted several flaws in the exception carved out by SB 47. Chief among them is the fact that it is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that handles work visas – not the Department of Labor.

Kuck continued:

“There’s no such thing as an H-1 or H-2 petition….. Let’s presume [Murphy is] speaking of H1Bs, which are used by the AJC to hire foreign reporters, or Georgia Pacific to hire an engineer or, really, any company, and the H2As, which are [for] temporary agricultural workers, and H2Bs, which are [for] temporary, ‘other’ workers.

“Say I’ve got a landscape company, I just got a contract with the state to take care of the highways. I need 500 guys. I do an H2B, I bring in 500 workers. Those people – those employer who doesn’t use any of those – don’t have to enroll in E-Verify. That’s every employer in Georgia, potentially….

By his reading of the exception, Kuck said an employer would only have to file a visa application for one employee – no matter how many other employees were at the firm.

“It makes it moot. The language is useless,” Kuck said. The lawyer has a blog on immigration law that you might want to bookmark for the session.

***
Judging by the video preview he’s posted on his Facebook page, Randy Travis of Fox5 News is about to tackle the topic of illegal immigrants working on public works projects.

***
Stephanie Ramage, formerly of the Sunday Paper, is reporting on her new blog that the lead Atlanta Police Department investigator in the raid on the Atlanta Eagle bar was arrested in Cobb County over the weekend on charges of DUI, possession of marijuana and speeding while driving an undercover police vehicle:

According to Cobb County Sheriff’s Office booking reports, Bennie Evett Bridges, 41, was stopped Thursday a little before 3 a.m. for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour and Cobb Police officers subsequently charged him with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana as well as driving under the influence of alcohol…He was released on bond that same day.

***
Word this morning is that U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, and congressional aide Andrew Aydin are collaborating on a graphic novel documenting Lewis’ role in the Civil Rights movement.

The press release includes this line:

The publishing agreement is an historic first, both for the U.S. Congress and graphic novel publishing as a whole, marking the first time a sitting Member of Congress has authored a graphic novel. Top Shelf Productions is the first and only graphic novel publisher to be certified by the House Committee on Standards.

***
You’re a former politician – or at least one who’s temporarily sidelined – and you want to clean out your attic. Who do you call? UGA.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

Five elected officials have donated collections of their papers to the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia.

All five have left office: former state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond of Athens and former state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, former Congressmen John Linder and Jim Marshall, and former Athens-Clarke Mayor Heidi Davison.

The Russell Library houses materials from more than 300 politicians, political parties, public policy organizations, federal and state appointees, and political observers and activists from the 20th and 21st centuries.

– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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