Written And Submitted By D.A. King
Professional licenses are public benefits in Georgia. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is well aware of that fact as they opposed the law that created it. I was there.
The people who run Georgia are tired of any delays involved in the process of verifying the lawful immigration status of applicants for public benefits.
Georgia law (OCGA 50-36-1) put in place in 2006 and improved several times after that says that applicants for public benefits must swear they are either U.S.citizens or eligible aliens on a notarized affidavit. They are supposed to show “Secure and Verifiable ID.” Then, that lawful presence status is supposed to be checked in a federal database called SAVE (SAVE is not doing their job correctly and we will expose that fact after the session). But the state law still stands.
Professional licenses are public benefits. Contrary to the mislabeling by numerous state and local departments that administer public benefits, this is not a “citizenship affidavit” – but a verification affidavit. One need not be a U.S. citizen to qualify for public benefits but must be a lawfully present alien.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is asking House members to vote yes on at least two bills, HB 34 and HB 268. While we have not had time to carefully study these bills, a quick appraisal tells us they are designed to provide “reciprocity” with other states on professional licenses – and to skip the verification process described above.
Do we want to rely on California or New York for immigration verification?
If an individual who has a license to be an occupational therapist in California or New York, for example, relocates to Georgia, the plan is to eliminate much of the licensing process here to put this person to work almost instantly – and to bypass the Georgia law for immigration verification. We would be relying on liberal California, the illegal alien Capital of the world for most of our licensing process.
These bills are apparently on the Rules calendar today – which means they will likely see a vote. I have notified several members with the below-emailed information and they tell me they will now vote “no” – and that author (s) are not aware of the existing law.
This issue is not new
We have been here before under the Gold Dome, just a few weeks ago with: “Libertarian pushed Gold Dome ‘reciprocity’ bill…”) would dismantle screening process for illegal aliens accessing professional licenses.”
This sort of thing is normal procedure in the state Capitol. You may want to forward this to your state Reps to let them know what you learned here.
The below was sent via email to several members and to Kim in Speaker David Ralston’s office this morning:
“After a very quick look: HB 34 has no language I can see that requires compliance with OCGA 50-36-1 (verification of lawful presence for public benefits). Professional licenses are public benefits. A yes vote is a vote to dismantle existing law on illegal immigration – in a state with more illegals than AZ. The senate will take careful note of that fact. I promise. A 30 second “isn’t it true” question should wake people up? I assume the same for CofCommerce HB268. Reciprocity write-up below.
Unless I have missed it in a big hurry here they all need: “Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to invalidate, override, or amend any licensing compact entered into by the State of Georgia or to permit the issuance of a license without verification under Code Section 50-36-1.”
Updated – Libertarian pushed Gold Dome ‘reciprocity’ bill (HB147) would dismantle screening process for illegal aliens accessing professional licenses *UPDATED WITH ADDITION OF IDENTICAL SENATE BILL (SB45) INFO
Military spouse not automatically a legal immigrant. Wash Post story:
Below are two letters put on House member’s desks on the floor today.