Sen. Chip Rogers is receiving cheers and jeers in the wake of the Senate’s passage of SB 529. Cheers from D.A. King in the Marietta Daily Journal:
A firmer grasp of the reality of the crisis is sweeping over the Georgia Legislature. For that, we have Georgia state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) to thank. For Georgians who have been demanding that our state government do something to fight illegal immigration, the end of the beginning may be in sight. Rogers’ Senate Bill 529, The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, passed the senate Wednesday. It is the strongest such legislation in the nation.
Jeers from Thomas Vilardi in the Gwinnett Forum. Vilardi states he is a Republican, a constituent of Sen. Rogers, and will never vote for him again. He goes on to say:
I would urge both Republicans and Democrats to support the McCain-Kennedy Bill. This bipartisan bill includes comprehensive border security and immigration reforms. I was pleased to see that Senator Sam Zamarripa proposed an amendment to SB529 to protect immigrant’s access to higher education. While this is good news, it simply is not enough. What good is access to higher education if there is no driver’s license to get them there? When graduation is upon them, the lack of a legal status will keep them from being able to work here legally.
Meanwhile, Senator Johnny Isakson is changing course and taking a tougher stance on the issue, offering a plan that focuses almost exclusively on border access:
“This legislation takes the steps necessary to make sure our border is secure,” Isakson said. “Once that is done the other problems are manageable.”
Isakson switched to a more hard-line approach after recent travel along the Mexico border, where he examined existing security measures such as barriers and drone surveillance aircraft and inspected tunnels and other passages used to enter the United States illegally.
His action also comes a day after the Georgia Senate passed a bill that seeks to ensure illegal immigrants do not receive taxpayer-provided benefits to which they are not entitled, and which would prevent employers from claiming wages for illegal immigrants as a tax deduction. The bill could be considered in the state House next week.
Isakson’s bill calls for spending nearly $1.5 billion to add 1,500 border agents and to buy 24 unmanned aircraft that would monitor the 2,000-mile border from 15,000 feet.