The Georgia GOP-led legislature has decided to jump back onto the anti-immigration train that led the national party off the cliff in the last election. Six GOP senators have introduced legislation to take away the right of DACA applicants to obtain Georgia Drivers licenses and ID cards in SB 404. Here is the language of that proposed bill:
To amend Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
relating to issuance, expiration, and renewal of licenses to operate a motor vehicle, so as to remove evidence of approved deferred action status from the list of available documents for use in the issuance of a temporary driver’s license or permit;
Did you expect to see this in the last week before crossover day in the Georgia State Legislature, in an election year, with a rising tide of Latino and Asian voters already upset by the national inaction on immigration reform? Who is behind this bill, and what can we do to stop such a stupid, self-immolating action by these GOP senators.
State GOP Senators Heath of the 31st, Gooch of the 51st, Crane of the 28th, Murphy of the 27th, and Hill of the 32nd (all districts who THINK they have no DACA recipients living in them) have introduced SB 404. They clearly did not write it. So who did? Who hates immigrants so much that they would want to take away drivers licenses away from young adults who are active, participating members of our Georgia Community? You decide who would do such a thing.
That said, we need to act. Word on the street is that the language of this bill (which will be formally introduced on Monday, February 24, 2013 in the State Senate) may be included in an house bill on driver’s license issues set to heard at 2:00 pm on Monday. There is a hearing HB 621 (which currently has nothing to do with driver’s licenses for DACA recipients) in Room 606 at the State Capitol. This Committee is the one in charge of Motor Vehicle issues, and this anti-immigrant language would have to added to a House Bill in order for the Senate to have a chance to turn it into law. To date, the Governor has failed to say anything public this session about his desire for there to be no anti-immigration legislation (presuming he has such a desire).
You need to come to the state legislature on Monday at 2:00 pm in room 606 in the State Capitol. You need to bring your friends. You need to bring your DACA cards and drivers licenses with you, and you need to show these state legislators that you are good, upstanding members of our community and will no longer remain silent in the face of an anti-immigration onslaught by a regional GOP focused on purifying itself of moderate and rational influence.
See you there.