Activist: Agencies not following immigration law
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@mdjonline.com
August 23, 2012 12:44 AM | 3535 views | 9 9 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — More than a dozen government entities throughout Cobb County may not be following new rules requiring them to check the immigration status of workers, immigration enforcement activist D.A. King said.

King filed a complaint in July with the Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board that accused 1,214 government agencies in the state of failing to provide information to the state Department of Audits and Accounts to allow it to determine whether they’re subject to House Bill 87. He said the board has yet to respond.

Part of the controversial immigration reform bill, which became law in July 2011, requires government entities with two or more employees to file annual reports on their use, and that of their contractors, of the E-Verify system, a federal program that checks the legal status of workers they hire.

“I have had zero recognition, response or official notice from the Immigration Enforcement Review Board,” King said Wednesday.

Among the local and county agencies that King cited are the Acworth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority, Acworth Downtown Development Authority, Acworth Lake Authority, Cobb Recreation Authority, Cobb Solid Waste Management Authority, Cobb Stadium Authority, Development Authority of Cobb, Development Authority of Powder Springs, Development Authority of Marietta, Downtown Development Authority of Austell, Hospital Authority of Smyrna, Housing Authority of Cobb, Housing Authority of Acworth, Kennesaw Development Authority, Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority, Powder Springs Downtown Development Authority, Austell Public Facilities Authority and Joint Development Authority of Cherokee and Cobb counties.

While the overall list does contain cities in Georgia, many of the agencies, particularly in Cobb, are simply boards whose members are volunteers charged with providing recommendations and typically do not staff employees. That would make them exemptions to the law.

“The ones that the county has any influence over, appointments to the board or anything like that, don’t have any employees,” county spokesman Robert Quigley said.

King has filed two other complaints with the state Department of Community Affairs regarding non-compliance with the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program, a database agencies are required by state law to use to check the legal status of public benefit applicants.

On Monday, a panel of three 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges upheld the “Show Your Papers Law,” which is considered the most controversial portion of H.B. 87. The ruling allows local, county and state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of criminal suspects who fail to show proper identification.

King said he was “very pleased” with the court’s decision.

“It’s important that people understand that the federal government has had laws in place since 1940 that require every alien to prove lawful presence in this country by carrying on their person documents showing that they are in the country lawfully,” King said.

The state law is similar to an aggressive anti-illegal immigration law passed in Arizona that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in June.

Cobb Immigrant Alliance spokesman Rich Pellegrino said that he and fellow immigrant rights activists were not surprised by the ruling. He said they have been meeting with Cobb police and other local law enforcement agencies about racial profiling, an issue some of the law’s critics fear will arise with its enforcement.

“They’ve all indicated with one voice that they’re not interested in the immigration status of anybody that they stop or arrest, and that that will not change because the law does not require their officers to do that,” Pellegrino said. “It gives them the discretion that they’ve already had.”

Cobb Police Chief John Houser was not available for an interview about his department’s plans to enforce the new law. Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn did not respond to a request by press time. It remains unclear when the law — which had been placed under injunction — can be implemented as the case could be appealed to the full court of appeals.
Comments
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Russ Wood
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August 28, 2012
King is complaining that over 1200 agencies are not compliant with state law.  But where is the outrage that there are over 1200 agencies regulating and interfering with our lives?  King could do the most good for Georgians by focusing on abolishing these bureaucracies instead of trying to bring additional laws and regulations into the system.  Are there no small-government advocates remaining in this state?
Gordo Meis
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August 28, 2012
Thank goodness for DA KING!
mk-new world order
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August 24, 2012
mobile bay, where you been? We ARE doomed!

Sam Olens, the highest law man in the state, came out w/ a statement yesterday assuring that illegals that get the Obama amnesty, will also be eligible for Georgia drivers licenses.

Our country is no more!
Richard Pellegrino
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August 26, 2012
No MK...only those who believe America was made by and for the white and the rich are doomed...the rest of us and America is blessed by the arrival of this group of "illegal immirants", just as it was by the arrival of italian, irish, german and countless other groups of "illegal immigrants" of their time. This is America and its destiny, and the very Constitution that you embrace allowed for and encouaged this. And every Americn invited this group of "undocumented immigrants" for cheap and productive labor, and they have more than earned their keep...so wake up and smell the roses and welcome them as your neigbhors...for they are and they are here to stay!
mobilebay
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August 23, 2012
I'm sure that graft and corruption are widespread as they are in all sections of our government now. Unless we elect people who care about the consitution, enforcing laws and having the moral judgement to lead a nation, we are doomed
Rich Pellegrino
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August 26, 2012
The very constitution that you embrace allowed and encouraged millions of "undocumented immigrants" of all backgrounds, including my italian ancestors, to come here and earn their right to stay, regardless of whether they came here "legally" at the time (MOST DIDN'T IF YOU STUDY HISTORY). And most of the federal laws that you don't agree with, including all of Obama's, have passed constitutional muster.
what do you expect?
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August 23, 2012
Well, what can you expect? We have become a largely lawless society, lead by a man who considers the Constitution unimportant.

Anarchists are given more respect than law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. Is this the Brave New World?
anonymous
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August 24, 2012
WOW! I sorta liked Gov Deal...
Rich Pellegrino
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August 26, 2012
Sorry...your bias is showing...though I don't agree wth everything President Obama has done one must admit that all of his actions and laws, inluding healthcare, immigration, and economic related, have passed constitutional muster as determined by all branches of govt including the Supreme Court. So you will have to find something else to complain about him about--he has certainly shown he is a true American in spite of all the attempts to indicate otherwise and all the attempts to obstruct everything he has tried and accomplished.
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