Archive for May 25th, 2011

May 25, 2011

5/25 – WGCL(VIDEO) – Students May Be Suspended After Protest Against Immigration Bill – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta

Students May Be Suspended After Protest Against Immigration Bill – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta.

POSTED: 1:01 pm EDT May 25, 2011

Watch Now Instead of spending one of the last days of school in the classroom, a group of about 60 Douglas County High School students spent their time protesting the state’s new immigration law.

“We wanna be somewhere in our lives,” said student Jose Flores. “We are the future.”

The group included some students brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents when they were young.”

I was brought here when I was 6 years old from Mexico,” said student Jorge Lopez.

“I was brought here across the desert.”

Lopez and his mother were granted visas in the last month, after more than a decade in the country illegally. Lopez said he will continue to speak out for his friends and family members who haven’t had that chance.

“We’re not asked to come here,” said Lopez. “We’re brought here.”

The governor’s office has previously said illegal immigrants cost the state $2 billion each year, including costs spent to educate illegal students. Samantha Morales said the new law will cost families even more. Her father was deported last year after he was pulled over during a traffic stop.

“Now I’m here with my mom by myself,” said Morales. “She’s worked so hard to give me everything.

“The students said they’re not concerned with potential punishments they may get for missing class. More than 100 students were suspended at Lithia Springs High School after a similar demonstration late last week. Tamara Hernandez’s son was one of those students. She said it’s unfair for the school district to tarnish the kids’ school records over something like this.

“The kids just want to be heard,” said Hernandez. ”

A lot of these kids are worried every day about their parents, what’s going to happen to them, where are they going to go.”

I was unclear immediately after the rally what the punishments will be for the students involved, but the principal said skipping class for any reason can result in suspension.

May 25, 2011

5/25 – Farm Press – Immigration reform hot topic for state legislatures | Government content from Southeast Farm Press

Immigration reform hot topic for state legislatures | Government content from Southeast Farm Press.

Georgia passes tough law

Faced with falling tax revenues and the loss of federal stimulus funds, the priority of many state legislatures this year has been simply to balance their budgets, but some laws have been approved and others are pending that could have an impact on farmers.In Georgia, the ag-related legislation that garnered the most attention this year related to immigration reform. Opposed by the Georgia Farm Bureau and other agriculture and tourism related groups, the new immigration law passed both houses of the state’s General Assembly and has been signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Some of the key provisions of Georgia’s immigration legislation are as follows:

• E-Verify — Every private employer with more than 10 employees must use the federal work authorization program, known as E-Verify. This requirement shall be effective on Jan. 1, 2012, for employers with 500 or more employees; on July 1, 2012 for employers with 100 to 499 employees; on July 1, 2013, for employers with 11 to 99 employees. In order to obtain business licenses, employers will be required to sign a sworn affidavit attesting they use the E-Verify program.

• Jan. 1 Provision — Determining the number of employees for the E-Verify requirement will be based on the number of full-time employees hired as of Jan. 1 each year. If the employer has 11 or more full-time employees on Jan. 1, that employer will be required to sign a sworn affidavit attesting to E-Verify use in order to legally obtain a business license. The bill defines a full-time employee as a person working more than 35 hours per week.

• Department of Agriculture Report — The bill instructs the Georgia Department of Agriculture to develop a report on federal guest worker programs and make recommendations related to those programs.

• 1099 Contract Labor — There are no provisions pertaining to 1099 contract labor in the legislation. Earlier bills would have tied business expense deductibility of 1099 contract labor to the use of E-Verify.

• Transporting/Harboring Illegal Aliens — The legislation makes it unlawful to knowingly transport or hide persons who are in this country illegally. The first offense for transporting or harboring seven or fewer illegal aliens is a misdemeanor with penalties being up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Penalties are substantially increased under the felony provisions for subsequent offenses, offenses with eight or more illegal aliens, or when the offender is profiting from the traffic.

• False Documents — The legislation makes it a crime for a person to willfully and fraudulently use false identifying information for the purpose of obtaining a job. If convicted, the person who intentionally provided the false information is subject to imprisonment between 1 to 15 years, and fines not to exceed $250,000 or both.

• Similar immigration reform appeared likely to be passed by the Alabama Legislature in early May.

Also in Georgia, the Farm bureau had sought to broaden the scope of agricultural sales tax exemptions to cover all farmer input costs. However, that reform stalled before the current session of the General Assembly ended.

The agricultural provisions in the bill were never contested, but there had been major controversy regarding other sections in the bill.

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