A committee hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee has been scheduled for 4:00 p.m. this afternoon on SB231. This large bill sponsored by Senator McKoon, widely known for his cruelty against immigrants and refugees, has a multitude of inhumane components to it disturbingly reminiscent of the past. We are not lawyers but we attempt to unpack it here:

  • Unnecessarily denies the rights of lawyers to practice law in Georgia if they are not documented in an attempt to further reduce the immigrant community’s access to legal services.
  • Denies in state tuition in all state universities, colleges, and technical schools for Non citizens/legal residents, specifically including those with the federally accepted immigration status known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), further reducing their access to education. Also puts the burden of signing a sworn affidavit on the student and the school.
  • Denies employment in all state academic institutions and public schools to Non citizens/legal residents, even if they are employed to teach a virtual course from out of state.
  • Denies the HOPE scholarship to Non citizens/legal residents including those with DACA status and anyone with a misdemeanor marijuana conviction.
  • Creates a public registry of Non citizens/legal residents including those with the DACA status.
  • Denies driver’s licenses to those with DACA status.
  • Requires the state to provide all personal information to any “governmental official, entity, or agency” with simply a “written request”. No subpoena or court involvement needed.
  • Denies property and other tax exemptions, along with requiring a signed affidavit, to Non citizens/legal residents.

The members of the committee need to hear from you before the meeting starts that you oppose this type of unwelcoming legislation. Please contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with an email. In the “to” column cut and paste:
jesse.stone@senate.ga.gov; bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov; blake.tillery@senate.ga.gov; vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov; Hunter.Hill@senate.ga.gov; harold.jones@senate.ga.gov; john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov; greg.kirk@senate.ga.gov; william.ligon@senate.ga.gov; jrm2016@yahoo.com; josh.mckoon@senate.ga.gov; elena.parent@senate.ga.gov; curt@curtthompson.com; curt.thompson@senate.ga.gov

And in the “cc” column add your Georgia House Senator (if not on the committee) and a subject line of “SB231”:

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

Please hold SB231 without further action and publicly take a stand in vocal opposition to all current and forthcoming anti-immigration bills. SB231, and bills like it, are an anathema to Georgia’s founding and our longstanding reputation for hospitality. I welcome all newcomers, including refugees and immigrants, to Georgia and to my community and expect the state legislature to reflect those same ideals.

Thank You,

Your Name
123 Main Street
Atlanta, GA 31234

(Remember to change Your Name and address to your name.)