Although Republicans hold a supermajority in the Georgia State Senate, the body recently voted down an amendment that would have barred illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses.
In a vote of 27-16, the senators last week defeated a floor amendment offered by Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) that would have prevented illegal immigrants granted deferred status under President Obama’s executive actions from getting driver’s licenses.
The vote was taken by a hand vote and not recorded on the Senate’s website. However the press office was able to get a vote count by checking the video of the vote, an aide to McKoon confirmed to Breitbart News.
The vote comes after a stand-alone McKoon bill to ensure that lawful immigrants — not including amnestied illegal immigrants — are the only kind of non-citizen that can obtain a drivers license in the state, SB 6, was referred to the Committee on Public Safety in January and left to languish.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, during debate on last week’s amendment McKoon argued that illegal immigration is costing the state $2.4 billion annually and pointed out that regardless of Obama’s executive actions illegal immigrants are in the county unlawfully and should therefore not be eligible for a driver’s license.
Those opposing the bill, according to the Chronicle’s report, argued that the illegal immigrants granteded protect status via Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program in many cases came to U.S. not of their own volition.
The report quoted Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) who argued the business community opposes the idea of blocking that population from obtaining drivers licenses.
“International corporations who have their North American headquarters here feel this is very ill-advised legislation,” The Chronicle quoted Orrock.
The defeat of McKoon’s bill has D.A. King, the president of the Dustin Inman Society, fired up. Blogging at his website Tuesday, King argued that Georgia residents should find out how their state senators voted.
He noted that he was in the gallery during the vote and saw just that just four senators voted to have a machine count of the amendment vote.
“Many Republican Georgia state Senators have sold out and need to have viable primary challengers in 2016. Including my own,” King blogged.