3/6 – Macon.com – Anyone want a waffle? – Opinion – Macon.com

Anyone want a waffle? – Opinion – Macon.com.

I wish I could offer a hot, delicious Belgian waffle or one made with a classic recipe of whole flour, flax seed meal, and wheat germ, served with blueberry syrup.

Instead, we’re stuck with the first Gov. Nathan Deal political waffle. Like thick, filling waffle batter, Deal has slowly dripped into a waffle-iron over the enforcement legislation relating to illegal residents in our state and the E-Verify program. E-Verify is the federal computerized data system designed to confirm any workers’ background.

Last week, Deal was praised in editorials around the state for urging caution in immigration reform and the fact he wants to learn more about E-Verify techniques.

I really can’t determine if the new governor has “evolved” when it comes to maintaining a legal populace by displaying compassion, or if he has concocted a strategy to pander to business, agriculture and industry leaders.

When Deal was in Congress, he offered and was the loudest voice that trumpeted the Birthright Citizenship Act that would have ended automatic citizenship to the so-called “anchor babies” born in the United States.

That bill has long been considered a foundation in helping get a handle on the problem with immigrants never completing the proper credentials that would help them remain in America.

While challenging his Republican rivals, a heated runoff primary with Karen Handel and then against Roy Barnes, Deal seemed so convincing that Georgia must imitate Arizona’s legislation to stop illegal immigration activity.

On April 27, 2010, Deal’s press office issued this statement:

“I agree with the Arizona governor (Jan Brewer) and legislature that the federal government has failed miserably at protecting our borders and enacting sensible solutions that would protect our states, counties and cities from bearing the enormous costs associated with illegal immigration, from emergency room visits to public schools to the criminal justice system. As governor of Georgia, I’d work to pass and sign similar legislation.”

Seems “similar” is the key word in that statement. It left the door open for Deal to mollify dissenting voices.

The heartburn this bitter waffle is causing the governor is provided by the Georgia Farm Bureau and Chamber of Commerce as they join forces with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. The groups appear to have lobbied Deal into at least a major compromise that won’t resemble Arizona’s legislation after all.

What more must the governor learn about the issue and the electronic system that will save American jobs and help curtail the illegal migrant activities?

Reportedly, 16,000 businesses in the state willingly operate E-Verify and some find it accurate and easy to use.

Keep in mind the agricultural community is able to use H2A visa documents that allow them to hire all the seasonal workers they need.

It seems that it depends on the type of employees a company hires as to their acceptance of using E-Verify. Kyle Wingfield, conservative writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote this week that businesspeople have told him E-Verify is not reliable at spotting forged immigration papers.

Outside the state Capitol on Thursday, demonstrating while HB 87 was passed 113-56, black and Latino civil rights groups, labor unions and members of the ACLU and Amnesty International demanded Deal veto any Arizona-style bill that comes to his desk.

There may be an out for our waffling governor.

Trying to digest the 22-pages that have been sent to the Senate, I was hard-pressed to find any teeth in the legislation that directly penalizes employers for hiring illegal workers or by not implementing E-Verify.

Under the House plan, Deal could sign a law that looks and sounds tough, puts the burden on law enforcement, but places no risk on a company that hires and protects undocumented laborers.

As voters watch the state Senate’s actions aimed at the immigration issue, we should also call the governor’s office and ask if he would like a slice of humble pie to go with his waffle.

Kenny Burgamy serves as a marketing consultant for Atlantic Southern Bank and is co-host of the Kenny B. Charles E., TV, radio and Internet program.

Read more: http://www.macon.com/2011/03/06/1476032/anyone-want-a-waffle.html#ixzz1FqDt5bs6

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