Guest Column

GALEO Urges U.S. Congress to Act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform 

HR-256 Fails to Provide Solution for National Issue 

  Atlanta, Georgia - Feb 21, 2005 On Thursday, February 17, 2005, Georgia HR- 256 was introduced by Representatives Roger Williams (HD-4), Bobby Franklin (HD-43), Ronald Forster (HD- 3), Scott Martin (HD-3), Jeannette Jamieson (HD- 28). HR-256 calls for a state constitutional amendment to ban all public services to undocumented immigrants including all publicly funded healthcare and all education, including K-12 education. HR-256 also calls for greater cooperation between local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration authorities. GALEO believes that comprehensive immigration reform should be appropriately addressed at the federal level and does not believe HR-256 will solve our failed federal immigration policy. The U.S. Congress and President Bush should act and develop a solution and to consider our national security, to encourage and enhance continued economic development and to protect the rights and dignity of immigrants.

GALEO believes these legislative measures along with other Senate (SB169-172) and House legislation introduced earlier this year would hurt Georgia's efforts to compete against Florida to secure the Secretariat for the Free Trade Area of the Americas. These legislative measures send a wrong message to Latin American countries prior to the voting for the Secretariat.

These legislative measures also run counter to President Bush's efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform and Governor Perdue's statements regarding immigrants.

On January 27, 2005, Governor Perdue addressed members of the Spanish media and said, "I applaud the President. We have a certain degree of hypocrisy about how we treat immigrants. Nevertheless, it's the moral, right thing to do to address immigrants, documented and undocumented, to meet the needs of workers and citizens in our country."

Governor Perdue further stated, "Almost 600,000 Latinos now call our state home. Georgia continues to be one the top destinations for Hispanic immigrants. They're coming to find jobs and to raise families and I think Georgia is especially attractive as a destination because those familiar Latino cultural values of family, faith, freedom and opportunity are important Georgia values too."

GALEO calls on Governor Sonny Perdue and House Speaker Glen Richardson to speak out against these piecemeal attempts of immigration policy at the state level and to encourage members in their legislative team to work on urging the U.S. Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform.

 

Governor Sonny Perdue may be reached at 404.656.1776.

Or you may contact Governor Perdue online, http://www.gov.state.ga.us/contact_dom.shtm  

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Glenn Richardson, grichard@legis.state.ga.us,  404.656.5020.

About GALEO

GALEO is a statewide 501 (c) (6) nonprofit and non- partisan organization providing a voice for the growing Latino population in Georgia and a framework for collaborative and proactive legislative initiatives for Georgia's Hispanic community.

Website: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=7pqqx6aab.0.cjqap8n6.kp7yy9n6.1872&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.galeo.org

About HR 256

A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that law enforcement agencies of the state shall cooperate fully with federal immigration authorities; to provide that illegal aliens are barred from receiving any public services provided by the state or any political subdivision of the state; to provide that illegal aliens are barred from receiving publicly funded health care services provided by the state or any political subdivision of the state; to provide that illegal aliens are barred from access to public elementary and secondary schools of the state; to provide that illegal aliens are barred from access to public postsecondary institutions of the state; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.

More Info: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=7pqqx6aab.0.4popw6aab.kp7yy9n6.1872&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.galeo.org%2FHR256.htm 

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)

Jerry Gonzalez

Executive Director

Email: jerry@galeo.org 

Phone: 404.745.2580

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) | P.O. Box 29506 | Atlanta | GA | 30359