Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Georgia competes with Arizona for title of top anti-immigrant state


Jill Garvey • Dec 14, 2010

Despite a huge victory for immigrant students in last week’s House vote on the DREAM Act, states like Georgia remain on the verge of passing harsh anti-immigrant laws. While up to 22 states are considering legislation modeled after Arizona’s racist SB 1070, Georgia is prepared to act when the state legislature convenes next month.

Two bills have already been filed ahead of the 2011 legislative session. One would stop undocumented students from attending Georgia’s public colleges and the other would block them from being employed by state and county governments.

Georgia is home to U.S. Representative Nathan Deal (R-GA), a national leader among anti-immigrant politicians and a member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC). The Caucus was founded by well-known nativist Tom Tancredo of Colorado. The current leader of IRC is Brian Bilbray of California. Bilbray is a former lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its ties to white nationalists.

In 2009, Congressman Deal introduced H.R. 1868 - the Birthright Citizenship Act.

It’s likely that Deal and other Georgia politicians have gotten most of their model language for these bills from Kansas Secretary of State and attorney with FAIR’s legal arm, Kris Kobach.

Kobach has popped up all over the country in recent years, developing a national reputation among the anti-immigrant crowd for his state and local strategies by targeting vulnerable immigrant communities.

Kobach has meddled in the legislation of several states; the results of which have been disastrous. Part of the notorious, anti-immigrant John Tanton Network, FAIR employs its legal arm, Immigration Reform Law Institute, to dehumanize immigrants in America.

State and local laws that are incompatible with federal measures and punish immigrants are spawning a patchwork of terror around the country. Rather than building a system that addresses the economic needs of the country, state and local politicians are instead creating communities of fear. And their doing it with the help of powerful anti-immigrant groups.

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