Thursday, May 17, 2007

immigration reform in the us senate opposed by georgia legislators

Georgia Legislators Oppose Fraudulent “Immigration Reform” Proposal



The current debate in Washington D.C. over so-called “Immigration Reform” highlights the failure of our federal government. Instead of enforcing the current laws passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996, the current Congress seems determined to vote on new laws they haven’t even taken the time to read. It is government at its worst.


As Georgia legislators we must deal with the failure of the federal government to secure our borders and enforce our current laws. It is incomprehensible that Congress would propose another amnesty plan after the dismal failure of the 1986 amnesty that has led us to this point.


We strongly urge the U.S. Congress to heed the findings and recommendations of the Jordan Commission on Immigration Reform of 1995.  Congresswoman Jordan, a civil rights pioneer and Congressional Medal of Freedom winner, led a multi-year Blue-Ribbon Commission to determine the problems and potential remedies of our illegal immigration crises. If Congress wants to find an answer they should follow the lead of Congresswoman Jordan.


We further call on Congress to fulfill the most basic responsibility of creating law – debate and discussion. Recent reports suggest the “compromise” bill will go directly to the Senate floor. It is estimated to be hundreds of pages in length. This suggests that our Senators will most likely vote on a bill they have never read and a measure that has never been fully vetted in committee hearings.


The Senate has not even taken the time to determine the costs of such a “comprehensive” plan. According to expert testimony from a preliminary study to be given today to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee by Robert Rector of the highly respected Heritage Foundation, the cost of amnesty and earned citizenship for just 7.9 million amnesty recipients would be $2.4 trillion, a cost that must be born by the American taxpayer. It is unconscionable that any legislator could vote for a measure of this magnitude without knowing and debating all the costs involved.


We denounce any effort to create a so-called “Z-Visa” and touchback provision which grants amnesty to those who have violated the laws of the United States. Such a plan gives preference to those who have violated the law over those who have followed the law and patiently await legal entrance into the United States.


We reject any idea, specifically those included in HR 1645 and s 1348, that would effectively abolish the borders of the United States by eliminating the necessity to have a Visa to travel anywhere on the North American continent.


We understand that the amnesty of 1986 proved beyond all doubt that the only real solution to solving the illegal immigration and illegal employment crisis in our nation is to secure American borders and hold employers accountable for violation of the law. We do not so cavalierly dismiss an employer’s violation of tax or pollution laws, yet somehow we are led to believe we should accept that a violation of immigration law should go unpunished.


Sadly, we have little faith in the current administration’s dedication to certify border security or operational control. Almost one-year has passed since President Bush signed a border security bill calling for the creation of an almost 700-mile physical barrier. To date only two miles have been completed.


It is our belief that no responsible elected official would even consider the fraud that is being offered as “comprehensive reform” in the United States Senate.





Chip Rogers    

Chairman – Senate Immigration Reform Caucus

Georgia State Senator 21st District

State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334

404-463-1378 404-463-1385 (fax)




John Lunsford

Chairman – House Immigration Reform Caucus

Georgia House of Representatives 110th District

State Capitol Atlanta Georgia 30334

404-656-7573 404-657-0499 (fax)


Sunday, May 13, 2007

final weekly lunsford 05-11-07

This Week at the Capitol with State Representative John Lunsford

 Weekly Capitol Update


May 11, 2007

Forty legislative days.  That’s what it took to iron out the business of the state.  It was a year beset with budget problems but a year that had some great legislation to better help the people of Georgia.  The budget issues have been fairly well debated in our newspapers, in our coffee shops, and at the dining room tables.  It started with a PeachCare for Kids shortfall created by the federal government where they failed to live up to their promises.  The good news that we didn’t hear much of is that both the mid-year 2007 budget and the Fiscal Year 2008 budget had some great funding initiatives.


Our mid-year budget had emergency funds for the Sumter County tornado victims and fully funded PeachCare.  The 2008 budget allowed for a three percent pay raise for teachers and state employees.  It also had pay raises for our state troopers and bus drivers and public school employees.  We put $42.3 million for land conservation, fully funded PeachCare for 2008, and fully funded adult literacy programs and our technical schools.  We put in $75.5 million for state universities and colleges and $242 million for K-12 enrollment growth.  We also had additional funding for child advocacy centers and programs for tracking internet predators.  Overall, they were two pretty good budgets.


Some other highlights included another sales tax holiday for school supplies set for August 2-5, 2007 and energy efficient products sales tax holiday set for October 2-5, 2007.  This program is widely popular with parents buying back to school clothes and supplies for their children and mirrors what some of our next-door neighbor states are doing. 


Education always is at the forefront of our minds when we consider legislation and this year was no exception.  We returned local control to school boards to determine their class sizes as we learned that this was becoming a “budget buster” for many school districts.  We also passed legislation requiring school councils to be composed of a majority of parents.


We passed legislation that would extend Georgia’s HERO scholarship, a program of free tuition to Georgia’s Colleges and Universities for our men and women serving in the National Guard and Reserves who have spent considerable time in fighting the Global War on Terror.  The new bill would provide that tuition assistance to surviving spouses of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in support of their country.


We exempted the state sales tax for bio-fuels construction materials for any bio-fuels facility primarily dedicated to producing and processing ethanol, biodiesel, butanol, and their byproducts.  We also provided a sales tax exemption for parts for maintenance and repair of aircraft not registered in this state.  This coincides with what other southern states have done allowing us to be competitive with them.


To make our great state a bigger player in selecting the President of the United States, we moved Georgia’s presidential primary to February 5.  This will allow Georgia to have a key presidential primary along with several other states early in the process thus making candidates campaign for our votes versus the race being decided prior to the Georgia presidential election.

Because the ports of Georgia are truly a state economic multiplier, we increased the amount of river pilots for several locals throughout the coast of Georgia to insure that port traffic moves smoothly.  There was other key legislation that passed either the House or Senate that will be considered when we reconvene next January. 


Thank you for placing your trust and confidence in me to serve you.  It is an awesome responsibility that you have given me and a privilege to represent you in the Georgia General Assembly.  For that reason, I am deeply humbled.  If you would like to reach me, please call me at (404) 656-7573 or write me at: State Rep. John Lunsford, 401, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA  30334 or e-mail me at
















Thursday, May 10, 2007

FW: PRESS RELEASE: House of Representatives Still Believes $142 Million Should Be Returned to the Taxpayers



From: Crockett, Misty []
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 11:36 AM
To: Crockett, Misty
Subject: FW: PRESS RELEASE: House of Representatives Still Believes $142 Million Should Be Returned to the Taxpayers
Importance: High



Speaker Glenn Richardson




Contact: Clelia Davis

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

(404) 656-5020


House of Representatives Still Believes $142 Million Should Be Returned to the Taxpayers


ATLANTA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that while he will not call the General Assembly back into a special session, he will line-item veto the $142 million tax refund voted on unanimously by the House and Senate.


“We are pleased Governor Perdue is not costing the state additional money by calling us back for a special session, but the House has fought very hard for this tax refund and it’s disappointing he has decided to veto it and that the Lieutenant Governor supports that decision,” Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson said.  “Sometimes friends disagree, but the House will not compromise when it comes to defending the taxpayers of Georgia.”


Although the $142 million vetoed by the Governor goes into the state’s reserve fund, the government can still spend that money next year.  Any amount of money in the reserves over 4 percent of the state’s annual budget is eligible to be spent by the state at any time. 


“The House still believes that if we can’t all agree on how to spend the money, the best thing to do is to return it to the people who sent it to us,” said Richardson. “We would rather have it go back to the taxpayers than be hoarded for the government to spend another day.


“As elected representatives of the people of Georgia, the House and the Senate made a unanimous promise on April 13 to return $142 million to our constituents.  The House feels strongly that we ought to honor that promise.” said Majority Leader Jerry Keen


The state’s reserve fund currently has $792 million, the highest in Georgia’s history.  Because that amount is at least 4 percent of the state’s budget, the $142 million sent to the reserve fund by Governor Perdue’s veto is simply waiting to spent by state government next year.