Lindsey: An Open Letter to Senators Chambliss and Isakson on Immigration

Rep. Edward Lindsey, a good friend of us here at Peach Pundit, sent this email to his supporters. I thought it worth posting since the debate over immigration reform is a hot topic now and a bill is pending in the Senate. Read Edward’s ideas then discuss.

– Buzz

Dear Senators Chambliss and Isakson:

I urge you to vote “no” on the proposed immigration bill currently being considered in the United States Senate.

I was a co-sponsor of Georgia’s tough anti-illegal immigration bill (HB 87), and as Georgia House Majority Whip worked hard for its successful passage in 2011. With this experience, I recognize numerous flaws with the new federal proposal, but the four most prominent in my mind are as follows:

1. The start of real conservative reform on immigration is very simple — Secure the Border! The remedies offered in the proposed bill are inadequate to assure that our borders will be truly sealed and protected from unlawful entry. Amendments offered in the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide for such security were regrettably voted down. No nation can long survive and guarantee the safety of its people without properly regulating who enters its territory. Therefore, without accomplishing this, there is no basis to move forward on other related issues;

2. We should oppose a pathway to citizenship for anyone who willingly and knowingly comes into our country illegally. Amnesty is contrary to the rule of law, fundamentally unfair to those who play by the rules and wait to immigrate legally, and will only encourage more illegal immigration. We tried amnesty in 1986 to fix the concern at that time when we had fewer than an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants eligible. The result? Today we have over 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and Georgia now ranks 6th in the nation in the number of illegal immigrants;

3. We have seen no cost estimate on how great a financial burden this bill will place on the State of Georgia and local governments in terms of the increased burden on state and local services. Even Los Angeles County officials in California are expressing concern over additional burdens being placed on its local services as a result of the proposed new law. In Georgia, we do not have a printing press to print money and our state and local governments are required to balance our budgets. Therefore, additional burdens on public health care, our education system, and other state and local services will only aggravate already precarious budget issues in our state; and

4. Immigration problems are in reality a series of very different, complex, and difficult issues which require more than simply voting up or down on someone else’s pre-packaged formula. After several years in state legislative leadership, I have grown increasingly skeptical of so called “comprehensive” solutions that in reality lump very different issues together into one hodgepodge bill. Border security, illegal entry, migrant farm workers, student visa applications, foreign high tech specialists’ work visas, and other immigration issues each carry their own intricate and complex challenges and concerns, and each should be addressed individually according to the best interest of our American society.

In conclusion, I respectfully ask that you vote against this proposed immigration bill as it is not in the best interest of the people of Georgia. We need to stand firm on border security and then roll up our sleeves and tackle the remaining issues one step and one issue at a time according to our long term national interests. That is how things should be done.

State Representative Edward Lindsey
Georgia House Majority Whip &
Conservative for Congress

51 comments

    • Dave Bearse says:

      That may’ve been the case before his service as mouthpiece for the gerrymandering of DeKalb House districts (Yeah sure, VRA mandated a house district one precinct wide and two dozens precincts long), and packing the Fulton County delegation with Republicans with only a precinct or two in the County.

      He’ll fit right in with a national GOP that can’t or won’t govern.

  1. ricstewart says:

    Ha! He had no problem voting for HB 87 without a fiscal note, but all of a sudden NOW he’s concerned about what legislation is going to cost Georgia taxpayers?

  2. oscardagrch says:

    Define irony – Proponent of HB 87 becomes concerned about the costs and financial burden placed on local governments by an immigration law….

    • Slugworth says:

      Irony and hypocrisy. Regardless of the merits or one’s stance on the policies, the General Assembly went out of its way to place the vast majority of compliance/costs on local governments under HB 87. They take the political credit and local taxpayers have to pony up. Cities and counties have to grow government to comply with each and every illegal immigration “reform” mandated by D.A. King and this General Assembly.

      • gcp says:

        And how much does it cost counties and cities to comply with HB 87 as compared to the billions taxpayers must spend as a result of illegal immigration?

        • oscardagrch says:

          Bless your heart. You must be one of those who thinks HB 87 actually is effective in catching illegal immigrants.

          Let me ask you something if a city or county was required by state law to get an affidavit from you where you attest that you are in this country legally when you apply for a business license and you are illegal do you (a) tell the truth or (b) lie?

          That’s right. It is a waste of time and money.

        • ricstewart says:

          That’s precisely the point, gcp. A fiscal note would have answered that question, but Ed Lindsey and his colleagues voted for HB 87 without knowing.

        • ricstewart says:

          That’s precisely the point, gcp. A fiscal note would have answered that question, but Ed Lindsay voted for it without knowing.

            • Lea Thrace says:

              I think they did. No one knows how much cities and counties are putting out to comply because there deliberately was no mechanism put in place to gather that information.

              Least that’s my understanding.

            • ricstewart says:

              What Lea said. I would have loved to know how much HB 87 cost, compared to the costs of illegal immigration to taxpayers at the local, state, and federal level.
              Unfortunately, the House leadership refused to get a fiscal note on the bill before they passed it, so we still don’t know.

              IF HB 87 really would have saved taxpayer money, why wouldn’t Matt Ramsey, Ed Lindsey, and all of the bill’s supporters be begging for a fiscal note?

              • gcp says:

                Ricstewart, the cost to comply for counties and cities is between very little and zero. The required additional documentation is checked once. In subsequent years business licenses are obtained as they have been in the past. Detailing the total cost of illegal immigration to the taxpayers would require a very long post which I will not bore you with. One very basic example; 4.2 billion for the Child Tax Credit nationally. Ga. is 3.1% of national population thus Ga. illegals receive 130 million.

                • ricstewart says:

                  If it’s as simple, obvious, and straightforward as you say it is, then why wouldn’t supporters of HB 87 have BEGGED for a fiscal note?

                  • gcp says:

                    I used 4.2 on child tax credit because it’s pretty much accepted by all sides. Estimates on other taxes vary according to who you ask but best I can figure its 7 to 11B FICA and approx. 16B total income tax and FICA compared to approximately 26B total cost to federal gov. in terms of benefits, services paid leaving a net loss of 10B to federal gov.

                    • mpierce says:

                      Your estimate doesn’t include k-12 education.

                      Estimated 3.9M K-12 children to illegals
                      $12,743 per pupil spending (as of 2010)
                      Total: $50B per year

                    • gcp says:

                      Grift, mpierce (excuse my misplaced post) My data comes from Mark Krikorian’s Center for Immigration Studies and Social Security Admin. I don’t include state and local costs and my data is a couple years old. Child tax credit info comes from FactCheck.

                • oscardagrch says:

                  gcp

                  You have a clear misunderstanding of the HB 87. SB 160, which does not go into effect until July 1st is the law that states business licenses are obtained as they have been in the past in subsequent years. HB 87 requires the affidavits and documentation annually. Fail #1 on your part.

                  I know of plenty of local governments that actually had to hire people just so they could make sure they were in compliance with this law and make sure all the reports and documentation was done. Fail #2 on your part.

                  Larger jurisdictions like your Gwinnetts, Cobbs and Atlanta have thousands upon thousands of licenses they issue. Do you think all of that paper to print affidavits and employee time to check that the affidavit was filled out correctly and the ID is valid is free? Fail #3 on your part.

                  Smaller jurisdictions like Turner County or Edge Hill might not have any employees or at the very least any employees with the time in their already packed days to deal with all of these new mandates. They have to make time….employee time….which costs money. Fail #4 on your part.

                  I could go on and on but “I will not bore you” with how many different ways you failed. Just know that you did.

                  • gcp says:

                    Several issues. Yes SB 160 is effective July 1, 2013. My SB 160 line 97 shows “or renews” crossed out in reference to business licenses. What does your version show? Even if all forms were required yearly the forms I have seen are simple one page forms. Yes counties will file with the state yearly stating they comply. As to the cost, I saw no increase in my property taxes in Gwinnett but perhaps the “massive compliance cost” will come later. Did you see an increase in your county taxes as a result of SB 160?

                    • oscardagrch says:

                      gcp.

                      I don’t know how to explain to you in any better terms that HB 87 passed in 2011 and SB 160 is not effective for another month. Additionally, HB 87 was not the first Georgia immigration law requiring businesses to file affidavits annually, even upon renewal. SB 160 FIXES that problem but for years with renewals businesses had to file the affidavit annually, including under HB 87….which is what this post has been about.

                      Apparently you think that local governments have an endless supply of money and time. If a local government employee is suddenly having to waste 100-200 hours a year on these pointless requirements do you not think other aspects of their jobs are going to suffer? If the local government has to take $1000 bucks out for paper and supplies to comply with this requirement do you not think that comes out of the budget from something else?

                      Just because the local government is treats you well enough that they don’t raise taxes doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cost money.

                      I am sorry that you don’t understand that or care to think that local government budgets are important.

                  • gcp says:

                    “ SB 160, which does not go into effect until July 1st is the law that states business licenses are obtained as they have been in the past in subsequent years” Oscar, I agree 87 imposes requirements as do most bills but now you agree that 160 cures the renewal problem and amends 87, correct?

                    • oscardagrch says:

                      Yes, SB 160 cures many but not all problems. But that isn’t the point of this post. You can agree with that, can’t you?

                    • oscardagrch says:

                      Yes, SB 160 cures many but not all problems. But that isn’t the point of this post. You can agree with that, can’t you?

                    • gcp says:

                      Oscar, there will be a cost for the new Prince BUI law and the new concussion bill. The BUI will result in more arrests and the concussion bill will result in increase costs to schools and parents. And yes 87 has a cost. We just disagree on the extent of the cost.

                    • oscardagrch says:

                      gcp.

                      And that is exactly the point everyone has been making. There is a cost. No one knows exactly what that cost is even though everyone knew there would be a cost because there was not a fiscal note.

                      Fiscal notes should be mandatory.

                    • oscardagrch says:

                      How about all bills that purport to save taxpayer money? If they save money….prove it.

                      The legislature talks a big game about open government but we all know that is a farce.

  3. Jackster says:

    So let’s see if I can get this straight:

    1) Secure the border – okay, so that takes resources, dollars, and addresses a series of complex issues in a hodgepodge sort of way. Or, is it simply that Georgia doesn’t have a border with Mexico, so no one will take them to task?

    2) Create a second class citizenry akin to Felons, slaves, and the homeless. Yeah, because socially we’ve seen that there are no economic or moral downsides to disenfranchsing and downgrading groups of people. I’m sure glad these people don’t ALREADY EXIST IN OUR COMMUNITIES. whew.

    3) Okay, so are you saying that there is a point of return at which we should be holding our citizens to? I would think the general idea would be that these people will work, create jobs, and pay taxes, therefore making the pie larger, while eating more. It’s called growth.

    4) So then why don’t you take a simple approach and make everyone equal? For all intents and purposes, Mexicans here illegally are economic refugees. And if you start a family here, then guess what – youre now a part of the community.

    I guess I don’t understand how talking points end up as a letter to our senators, when in reality, there is nothing here that actually grows, governs, or guides a community’s health.

  4. Oec says:

    Saying each aspect of the broader immigration issue “should be addressed individually” and then taking no position on any individual component (other than the pandering and vague “no amnesty” and “secure the borders” mantras) is a cop-out. And if a “comprehensive” bill is negotiated and deliberated and debated in the light of day, and ends up passing with bipartisan support, isn’t that the way the legislative process is supposed to work? If everyone involved insists on getting only the individual pieces they want passed first, before they’ll talk about the rest of the issues, you might as well say “I’m fine with the status quo.” Because that’s what you’ll get.

    And by the way, Ed, what WOULD you do with the 11 million illegal immigrants here now if making them go through a 13 year process to get in the back of the line for citizenship is unacceptable “amnesty”? Create a permanent second class of immigrant, never eligible to apply for citizenship? Ask them to “self-deport”? What?

    If you don’t like what’s being negotiated, what DO you suggest?

  5. Three Jack says:

    ‘Hey potential wingnut voters in the 11th, look at me, I’m calling out our senators…NO AMNESTY!…see, I’m the most conservative…vote for me’.

    What a joke. I appreciate the ‘co-sponsor’ of one of the worst bills in GA history coming out and making a stand like this early in the decision process for next year’s primary. Ed Lindsay, co-sponsor of HB87 which put a tremendous burden and cost on small businesses in this state admonishing senators to not do the same…you just can’t make this stuff up.

    Secure the border — please enlighten us candidate Lindsey as to how you would accomplish this in a cost effective manner.

    • achap39 says:

      Get used to it. It seems like the push is going to be to show ‘who’s the most conservative’ and regurgitate talk radio and party talking points.

      No solutions for anything proposed, just more of the ‘anything but X’ mentality.

  6. “each should be addressed individually according to the best interest of our American society”

    I presume this means that when corporations need cheap labor, that’s in the best interest. But, when the cheap laborers children are school-aged, their education is not in the best interest.

  7. Scott65 says:

    I dont get it. If this doesn’t get done in this congress…republicans have WAY more to lose…like any hope of national office for the foreseeable future…not to mention its gonna be hard to win statewide in many states that would have been easily won otherwise. As the republicans continue down this road sprinting to the right into “John Birch” territory…they leave the vast majority behind…thats not a recipe for winning…but to some, purity is better than winning

    • xdog says:

      Absolutely true. Their current stand isn’t just a loser but a big loser. Pass a bill, declare victory, and move on.

  8. Trey A. says:

    It will be disastrous for the GOP brand if the Senators take State Rep. Lindsey’s advice. Can’t get comprehensive immigration reform passed. Can’t get comprehensive tax reform passed. Blocked sensible gun control measures after Newtown. BUT, there’s still Benghazi!

    This is pure self promotion. Lindsey wants to be in Congress. It’s a good gig with a lifetime of benefits. Why take risks and blaze a new path when “tried and true” works in the 11th?

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Yeah, but a dozen years from now when the party is in ruins Lindsay could be collecting 10 year Georgia and Congressional legislative pensions.

  9. Dave Bearse says:

    Is Lindsay part of a new GOP reform strategy to expedite the process of the GOP as a regional permanent minority party and compel Republicans outside the Tea Party and South will have to figure out what to do to remain relevant?

    It’s a strategy being put forth on multiple fronts, as evidenced by Phyllis Schlafly, a before her time wingnut:

    “I don’t see any evidence that Hispanics resonate with Republican values. They have no experience or knowledge of the whole idea of limited government and keeping government out of our private lives. They come from a country where the government has to decide everything. I don’t know where you get the idea that the Mexicans coming in resonate with Republican values. They’re running an illegitimacy rate that is extremely high. I think it’s the highest of any ethnic group. We welcome people who want to be Americans. And then you hear many of them talk about wanting Mexico to reclaim several of our Southwestern states, because they think Mexico should really own some of those states. Well, that’s unacceptable. We don’t want people like that.”

    Lindsay is part of the new GOP reform strategy to expedite the process of the GOP as a regional permanent minority party, at which time Republicans outside the Tea Party and South will have to figure out what to do.

    • ricstewart says:

      “I don’t know where you get the idea that the Mexicans coming in resonate with Republican values. They’re running an illegitimacy rate that is extremely high. I think it’s the highest of any ethnic group. ”

      Mississippi has a 48% illegitimacy rate. It hasn’t stopped them from voting solidly Republican.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I’ ll trust that wasn’t because I was careless in editing, and began and finished with the same general thought.

        I understand she’s writing yet another book.

  10. ricstewart says:

    I emailed Rep. Lindsey to ask him about his hypocrisy on fiscal responsibility/immigration. Here’s what I wrote him, followed by his response:

    “In your letter to Senators Chambliss and Isakson, you urge them to vote no because “We have seen no cost estimate on how great a financial burden this bill will place on the State of Georgia and local governments in terms of the increased burden on state and local services.” I’m glad to see that you are so concerned about taxpayer costs, but I am disappointed that you did not show similar concern when you voted for HB 87. Could you please explain why you voted for HB 87 without a fiscal note?
    In the same year Georgia passed HB 87, other states considered similar legislation, but rejected them when they realized the costs of enforcement-only state immigration laws. For example, the fiscal note on Kentucky’s bill was $89 million per year. The fiscal note on a Georgia-style immigration law in Utah was $11 million. Did you really think Georgia taxpayers didn’t deserve to know how much it would cost us?”

    Rep. Lindsey’s response:

    “I know GALEO did not like it but we are going to simply have to agree to disagree on HB 87. The fact of the matter is that we did have figures showing the enormous financial drain illegal immigrants had on state and local government services prior to the passage of HB 87. It was overwhelmingly supported by the people of Georgia. “

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