By Georgia State Sen. Josh McKoon –
The state of Georgia is issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens! After years of explaining this fact to astonished Georgians all over the state, I have still not grown accustomed to the shock and outrage they so vocally express.
“But Georgia is governed by Republicans! – what is this, California?” is the most common reply that is printable here. They seem to become even angrier when someone correctly points out that illegal aliens cannot obtain a driver’s license in Mexico.
For those readers who are wondering – no, this bewildering assault on our driver’s license integrity is not a result of an act of Congress. Or the Georgia General Assembly.
Despite the efforts of very powerful forces, Georgia driver’s licenses had been off limits to illegal aliens. Yet that changed when President Barack Obama issued his 2012 re-election campaign decree granting an official assurance of “deferred action” amnesty on deportations to illegals who said they came here as children. Obama dictated that his deferred action amnesty “for the children” — known as “DACA”– also came with a work permit and a (genuine) Social Security number. Since then Obama has modified his decree. Now, “children” has no age cap – illegals in their 40’s and older are now eligible for DACA amnesty.
Under current – but pre-Obama – state law those last two documents make an illegal alien as eligible for a driver’s license in Georgia as a foreign businessman on a visa, a legal permanent resident immigrant or a Georgia-born youth on his 16th birthday.
As a security measure, and to protect our jobs, I have introduced legislation – Senate Bill 6 – that will alter state law to end the practice of rewarding any illegal aliens with a Georgia driver’s license.
It is important to understand that Obama’s mass deferred action on deportation does not change the fact that the affected illegal aliens are still illegal aliens. As is noted on the federal immigration website, “deferred action does not provide legal status.”
Currently, the Obama administration is in the process of greatly expanding the executive decree to cover even more illegals– this time, it is “for the parents.” This latest edict is known as “DAPA.” For most Georgians, the ultimate goal of this progressive incrementalism is not difficult to recognize.
Neither is it a secret that a driver’s license confers much more than the ability to legally drive and blend in with law-abiding residents. They can also be used to buy explosives, enter federal buildings, rent a car and obtain voter registration. Last October, the Associated Press reported that 145 deferred action recipients were discovered on North Carolina voting rolls.
In November, in the extremely liberal, but sensible, and safety-conscious state of Oregon, voters overwhelmingly rejected a law that granted driver’s licenses to non-DACA illegal aliens.
When asked his views on my legislation by media, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson replied “All you have to look at is what happened in Oregon last week in the election. I think that’s the sentiment of the American people.” The growing list of senate co-sponsors of SB 6 and the majority of common sense Georgians agree with Senator Isakson – and with the government of Mexico.
It should be made clear in answer to the fact-challenged and desperate “SB 6 is unconstitutional” howls from what can only be described as the ”illegal alien lobby” that has a vested interest in the continued presence of the illegals: According to the Obama Department of Justice, there is no “right” to a Georgia driver’s license. A driver’s license is a state-regulated privilege. That privilege should only be conferred upon residents in Georgia with legal status.
Gov. Nathan Deal and indeed all of state government have been focused on making sure Georgia is the number one destination for job creation. We must all ask ourselves who we want to take these future jobs and if the General Assembly should stand by and do nothing to protect our jobs and wages from crushing illegal immigration.
We should also consider the undeniably high monetary cost of processing perhaps hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens for driver’s licenses.
Georgia should not become another California because of the refusal of the Obama administration to faithfully execute its constitutional obligation to enforce our laws. I know the majority of Georgia voters would take a dim view of the General Assembly continuing to defer to the judgment of President Obama on rewarding the crime of illegal immigration.
I hope you will ask your own state senator to co-sponsor Senate Bill 6.
Georgia Sen. Josh McKoon (R) of Columbus is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.