Officials in the Republican-controlled state of Georgia have quietly agreed to provide drivers’ licenses to a group of illegals who have already lost court pleas against deportation.
The plaintiffs, most of whom are unnamed in court documents, are due for deportation but are appealing to the courts for permission to stay. Pending any final legal decision — which could be years away — the illegals can now use their Georgia drivers licenses and ID cards to accept lower wages for jobs sought by Georgians and to blend into the mainstream of American life.
In May and June of 2016, under the new policy, Georgia officials working for Gov. Nathan Deal quietly issued 2,753 drivers licenses to “immigrants” who do not have legal status. That’s an increase above the 1,872 licenses that were issued between January and May.
In addition, the GOP-run state has agreed to pay their lawyers’ bills of $35,000.
President Barack Obama’s deputies have already issued these illegals with work permits and Social Security numbers while their years-long appeal is pending.
The Georgia decision is one of several ways in which business-backed illegals are getting drivers’ licenses in Georgia. In general, companies want illegals to get drivers’ licenses because that helps the low-wage illegals drive down wages for Americans. Many Republicans rationalize their support for illegals by saying it will eventually add votes for GOP candidates.
The state’s population of 10 million includes roughly 400,000 illegal aliens, who comprise almost one-in-twenty of the population. Nationally, Georgia ranks seventh among states in its population of illegal aliens, coming just behind Arizona. For the moment, all statewide constitutional offices in Georgia are held by Republicans.
Obama’s 2012 “DACA” quasi-amnesty for younger illegal immigrants opened a legal loophole and allowed many to get drivers’ licenses. Officials deny it when asked by state legislators and the public, but the state’s Department of Drivers Services has been issuing both documents to illegal aliens with DACA status since 2012.
The latest group of illegal aliens to get licenses are not part of the DACA group. But they’re in a category of illegals that were being issued the state’s “secure ID documents” until 2015. That’s when public awareness and pressure for a policy change in Georgia blocked that method of providing licenses to illegals. The court settlement has reinstated this practice of giving drivers licenses to this sub-set of non-DACA illegals.
The drivers’ licenses also allow the illegals to gain many advantages reserved for citizens and legal immigrants, so reducing the economic and social pressure to leave the country. For example, in Georgia law, a drivers license and official state ID card are regarded as “Secure and Verifiable ID” and can be used as proof of eligibility for many public benefits, including unemployment benefits.
While it is illegal for illegals to vote, many illegal aliens with a drivers license have been discovered to have used their drivers licenses to register to vote, including,as Breitbart has reported, in North Carolina. Non-citizens illegally voting in American elections is well documented.
The Georgia public strongly opposes the distribution of licenses to illegals — but the GOP governor, many GOP and Democratic legislators and most business groups want the illegals to have licenses.
In 2015, conservative state Senator Josh McKoon sponsored legislation to update language of the law to stop any illegal from obtaining a drivers license. But GOP leaders in the capitol blocked the bill.
The bill was redrafted in 2016 to require that the drivers licenses and official ID cards given to illegals actually look very different from normal documents. Currently Republican Georgia is issuing illegal aliens the identical drivers licenses and official state ID cards given to non-citizens with legal status, including invited Mercedes Benz executives who are in the state with temporary visas.
McKoon’s necessarily weakened bill passed the GOP state Senate by a two-thirds majority but expired when it was denied any hearing in the GOP House run by the Chamber-of-Commerce-friendly Republican Speaker, David Ralston.
This writer filed an official open records request earlier this year with DDS asking the final cost of issuing a Georgia drivers license. The response was that there was no breakdown of that cost
In reply to another open records request, DDS did report that as of mid-2015 Georgia had issued more than 15,000 illegal aliens a drivers license or official ID card, or both. Georgia’s governor, who appoints the DDS commissioners, has remained silent on the unknown cost of the entire process to Georgia taxpayers.
D.A. King is the founder of The Dustin Inman Society, which oppose illegal immigration.