ACLU Files Lawsuit To Block HB87

Galloway has the details but here’s a bit of the lawsuit per his article:

– One of the main components is the allegation that the law will result in racial profiling, which should surprise no one. The filing will include this line: “All Georgians, and particularly those of color, will be compelled to carry additional paperwork on them prescribed by the State of Georgia at all times.”

– The lawsuit alleges that, even though the new law doesn’t go into effect until July 1, individuals are already being stopped by law enforcement officials, based on their appearance and ability to speak English.

– The suit will also focus on the new law’s ban on transporting or harboring illegal immigrants, arguing that the statute will expose legal residents of Georgia to criminal prosecution for acts of kindness.

In addition to the civil rights organizations, parties to the suit will include a Catholic nun who “”is guided by the Christian principle of welcoming the stranger in our midst.”

She provides transportation and housing to individuals in Georgia without asking their immigration status, and admits she is aware that “a good share” of those individuals are undocumented immigrants.

The ACLU is flat out wrong on the transportation and harboring aspect of the impending law. As shown below the law is narrowly crafted to target coyotes and other human traffickers. Unless the Nun who joined the lawsuit is regularly carrying out other criminal offenses I think she’s safe. From the bill:

310 (b) A person who, while committing another criminal offense, knowingly and intentionally
311 transports or moves an illegal alien in a motor vehicle for the purpose of furthering the
312 illegal presence of the alien in the United States shall be guilty of the offense of
313 transporting or moving an illegal alien.


    • Johnathan says:

      What Grift said.

      If the Nun is speeding or has a taillight out, and is taking an illegal immigrant to a soup kitchen at her parish, wouldn’t that satisfy that section of the legislation?

      Honestly asking here …

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        I was wondering the same thing, considering this legislation expands the definition of “criminal offense” to include “minor traffic violations” as grounds for demanding papers, is that the case for “transporting illegals during the commission of a crime” as well.

          • Johnathan says:

            OK, I’m confused too then. If the Nun is pulled over for speeding with an illegal immigrant in the car – one she’s taking to a soup kitchen – then she’ll face the consequences per this new legislation, right?

            • bgsmallz says:

              That’s right…if she has less than 7 in her car and it is a first offense, I think it is a misdemeanor.

              What I don’t understand is that later in the code, they limit the ability for police officers to check papers by defining a Criminal Violation as “a violation of state or federal criminal law but shall not include a violation of a county or municipal law, regulation, or ordinance.” That would preclude the nun from getting charged if she was speeding, but would allow charges if she was drug trafficking, DWI, etc. Why wouldn’t you just use that definition for the whole bill instead of just part of the code? Seems like the legislature left itself open to a challenge by refusing to apply that definition to the entire Act.

        • griftdrift says:

          Then you’ll have to explain it to me like I’m a 3 year old, Buzz.

          How is that scenario not “purpose of furthering the illegal presence of the alien”.

          I’d say eating goes a long way towards furthering someones presence.

          • KD_fiscal conservative says:

            Well, there you go. You just admitted the “The ACLU is NOT flat out wrong.” They have have jist of is RIGHT. Church folks and others who aren’t on the Georgia standard of asking for papers before helping people “suspected illegals”, or in the case of the Nun who admitted some Church goers may be undocumented, could be be charged. Of-course the prosecution would have to prove they knew they were “transporting illegals”, but either way, it is absolutely ridiculous the so called “socially conservative” GA legislature is willing to even leave open the possibility of putting Nuns and other good samaritans at risk of CRIMINAL prosecution for a MINOR TRAFFIC VIOLATION of going a few mhp over the limit in the process of helping your fellow man.

            Matthew 25:35-41: “You mistreat or neglect the Least of mankind, you have done it to Him. Those people will be judged by God for it. “…..I don’t see where Jesus disqualifies those who have done anything wrong in the past (in this case by coming here illegally), but what do I know, maybe you guys are right. If you help the poor who happened to be here illegally, you should be prosecuted the same as a “human trafficking” for getting a speeding ticket.

            • See my comment to Grift.

              The idea that Nuns and Church folks are going to be rounded up is nothing more than fear mongering. It doesn’t happen and it won’t under HB87.

              • bgsmallz says:


                She would be charged with a misdemeanor on her first offense, felony on her second offense? Or are you suggesting that the officers should not apply the law as written, which would be ironic considering the whole reason we are in this situation to begin with.

            • seekingtounderstand says:

              God never intended you to use scripture to destroy a human beings life (legal worker) by someone else cheating our system (illegal worker). The way a government destroys its citizens is to have no control on illegal immigration. Have you noticed any legal workers without jobs? Do you have a scripture for loving the american families destroyed by illegal immigrants?
              Whats so sad is the Latinos allow themselves to be used as the poster child for groups who have other agendas, ACLU is one.

          • I’m not a lawyer but I play one 40 days a year.

            From my search of the web I see that it’s already against Federal law to transport illegal aliens for the purpose of furthering their illegal presence here.

            Does anyone know how many Nuns are in prison right now because they took an illegal alien to a soup kitchen? If there are none then perhaps Courts and Prosecutors understand what it means to further a person’s illegal presence here.

            • One more thing: See what this opponent of HB87 says about the transportation and harboring aspect of the bill:

              Suffice it to say for now that getting convicted under these new criminal laws is barely even a remote possibility.

              I disagree. I think coyotes and human traffickers will be convicted, but again the idea that Nuns and Church folks will be rounded up is silly.

              • Three Jack says:

                “but again the idea that Nuns and Church folks will be rounded up is silly.” yeah, because new government regulations never have unintended consequences.

                • Ambernappe says:

                  Three Jack,
                  At least this new law is a solid effort to mitigate the INTENDED consequences of the illegals who have committed thousands of violent crimes against innocent citizens of the United States, and are a major factor in the financial problems of social agencies and public education facilities.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    amber, a ‘solid effort’ doomed for failure is not what we want from our elected officials. they could have waited a year, studied the implications of passing hb87 then proceeded accordingly. instead they pass the bill as a means to gain support from voters like you who could care less about what happens in real life.

                    and stop with the bs about crimes against innocent citizens, blah, blah. 95% of illegal immigrants work w/o commiting any other crimes other than having crossed an unsecured border.

              • sunkawakan says:

                Buzz, there are a lot of “church folks” that have been detained and arrested for standing up for what they perceive are violations of basic human rights. There is no question that this law has the potential of increasing detention of these groups and individuals.

            • analogkid says:

              [I]t’s already against Federal law to transport illegal aliens for the purpose of furthering their illegal presence here.

              Does anyone know how many Nuns are in prison right now because they took an illegal alien to a soup kitchen?

              But wasn’t the impetus for this legislation that the Federal gov’t wasn’t enforcing its own laws? If the Fed isn’t locking up nuns, it might be because its not enforcing that part of its own laws either. You can’t have it both ways.

  1. benevolus says:

    Far be it from me to defend the law, but it does exempt “A person providing privately funded social services”. So just don’t take any government money and go for it.

  2. Howard Roark says:

    Red and yellow, black and WHITE. We are all people of color.

    Oh, this is good for republicans in Georgia. The ACLU attacking a policy that a vast majority of Georgians is in favor of. I can see the mailers now. If a court were to over throw the law that would just be gravy.

  3. Three Jack says:

    wonder how much was included in the $18b budget to defend this law? thanks republicans, hope you got all the votes you sought with this expensive political stunt.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Lawsuits happen all the time (especially coming from the ACLU). If legislators were to back out of lawmaking for fear of another lawsuit, they wouldn’t accomplish anything.

      . . . —on second thought.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      Everyone is aware of this political unfunded stunt. And believe me the next election cycle will shock those who thought it would win them points.
      Even the Illegal Latino rights groups are laughing at us and telling their illegals to just ignore it.
      Nothing to worry about.

  4. saltycracker says:

    If we’re worried about the local money to take on illegal immigrant activities maybe the Feds can get busy with reforming and enforcing the laws. If we just shifted select drug issues from criminal issues to health issues it would free up a big pile of money. Might hurt reality TV cop shows and public defenders income by redirecting fully outfitted multiple task forces doing undercover stings on some nitwits buying a joint or a rock.

  5. gcp says:

    Due to recent Supreme Court upholding of mandatory E-Verify, opponents now are left to challenge other sections of the law. While HB87 is weak in some areas, it is better than Arizona 1070. Congress, through 287G and Secure Communities already allow local agencies to detain illegals. HB 87 requires that a crime be committed before law enforcement can act. Numerous exemptions are included in the law. Public benefits will be denied to individuals with only a foreign ID. Other portions of 87, such as use of fraudulent ID, merely strengthen existing law. Now let the court challenges begin.

    • Gary Cooper says:

      Exactly….the 287G status will be argued that the states are already given power by the Feds to detain illegal immigrants and HB87 only reinforces that. The fact that you actually have to be committing a crime in order to have your status checked (which your identity is already being verified in this case, whether illegal, legal, or a citizen) will be hard for the justices to come down on.

      Another thing that is being missed with the E-Verify ruling. The Supreme Court basically said that the states have the right to enforce federal law. Federal law states that it is illegal to be in this country without proper immigration status. That ruling gives a hint that at least 5 Justices believe the states have the right to enforce federal laws. That is all HB87 does in the state of Georgia and all 1070 does in Arizona.

  6. sunkawakan says:

    One question: if a tourist from Mexico (or any other country), with a legitimate passport, is involved in a traffic stop, would their passport and country’s drivers’ license suffice as “secure and verifiable” identification, or would they be subject to verification procedures?

  7. gcp says:

    First off, the “tourist” must violate the law to merit an initial law enforcement investigation. If your “tourist” is in possession of a license in a language other than English, he must possess an international driving permit to legally drive. See 40-5-21a (2). Ga. Law also allows for issuance of temporary Ga. License for noncitizens legally in the U.S. See 40-5-21.1 and 40-5-21.2 A Canadian CDL is also permissible. See 40-5 158. Yes, your “tourist” may be subject to HB87 if he: 1. initially violated the law and 2. Was in violation of above license requirements and 3. Stayed longer than 90 days on a passport without additional documentation.

    • sunkawakan says:

      So, any foreign tourist who is charged with a traffic infraction stands a good chance of being detained for a check of their immigration status? Or does the international driving permit suffice as “secure and verifiable” documentation, when paired with their country’s driver license and passport?

      • gcp says:

        Once again, the speeding tourist that comports with Ga. Drivers’ License Law listed above would not be subject to HB 87 however that tourist may get a speeding citation. When proper documentation is presented, absent other circumstances such as illegal drugs or an illegal weapon on the front seat, there is no further investigation. Please look at lines 416 and 417 of HB87. It makes reference to Ga. 40-5-21(a)(2) which allows for International Driving Permits. All drivers, tourist and nontourist are subject to the same driving laws.

        • sunkawakan says:

          So, the following passage:

          “(2) A nonresident who has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to him or her in his or her home state or country; provided, however, that such person would otherwise satisfy all requirements to receive a Georgia driver’s license and, if such nonresident driver’s license is in a language other than English, the nonresident also has in his or her immediate possession a valid international driving permit which conforms to and has been issued in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on Road Traffic, 3 U.S.T. 3008, TIAS 2487, or any similar such treaty, international agreement, or reciprocal agreement between the United States and a foreign nation concerning driving privileges of nonresidents;”

          While this does seem to protect those with international driving permits, it would be interesting to find out how many foreign tourists (esp. Canada and Mexico) actually go through the process of obtaining one. I do recall the detention of a Canadian woman in 2007 over a traffic violation that caused an uproar. I do not know whether she had an international drivers’ permit.

  8. SallyForth says:

    This debate always draws me like a moth to a flame! The whole thing would be laughable, if it weren’t so seriously affecting our communities. How on earth can the ACLU and other protesters get away with publicly arguing to allow people from other countries to trample on U.S. law? Last time I checked, the “A” in ACLU stood for American, but now they are fighting to make our country obey non-Americans and our homegrown crooks who abet them. Seriously?? Really??

    I wonder if I could get away with going to some other country, settle my butt there and start publicly telling telling them “I’m here illegally and you have to write laws that suit me” – I want to live there, but not obey their laws. Can anybody name one single country that will let me do that? ‘Didn’t think so.

  9. saltycracker says:

    Guess the ACLU should expect some big donations from agri-corporations that don’t want to go thru legal processes, hiring locals or planning ahead for migrant worker visas…

    When the unemployment, public subsidies, charities or family wells run dry or become unacceptable there are legals that might step up –

    – this is not the fix but it is certainly an indication that when laws are enforced, folks & businesses adapt……

    Local labor brings in the harvest

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