Bill could prevent illegal immigrants from getting marriage license or water service in Ga.

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ATLANTA — A bill making its way through the Georgia Legislature could prevent illegal immigrants from being able to get a marriage license or access to water and sewage service in the state.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, has gotten a lot of attention because it would also bar illegal immigrants from the state’s public colleges, universities and technical schools.

But another provision that’s generated very little discussion removes foreign passports from a list of identification documents that government agencies can accept for certain transactions. To be acceptable, foreign passports would have to be accompanied by federal immigration documentation proving someone is in the country legally.

“It’s very interesting that the reliability of foreign passports is being questioned by the Georgia Legislature when the Transportation and Security Administration has considered the passport to be a very secure form of ID,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

“I think my worry is that perhaps some legislators might not be aware of the implications of this because it seems so innocuous. It doesn’t say on its face that undocumented immigrants can’t get water or can’t marry.”

Loudermilk said the possibility of preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining marriage licenses and access to water and sewer was not intentional. He added that an amendment was likely that would remedy that.

Versions of the bill have cleared the state Senate and a House committee. If the full House passes it, the Senate would have to approve changes made by the House before the session ends Thursday.

Under last year’s law cracking down on illegal immigration, the state attorney general’s office was charged with creating a list of “secure and verifiable” documents that government agencies could accept if they require identification for an official purpose. The list was released last summer and includes a U.S. passport, U.S. military identification card and a U.S. driver’s license, among other documents. It also includes foreign passports, the only document on the list that illegal immigrants would be able to obtain.

By removing foreign passports from the list, the new bill would technically prevent illegal immigrants from getting a marriage license in Georgia or from accessing water and sewage service in the many municipalities that require identification to turn on service. That’s because illegal immigrants wouldn’t have the extra paperwork needed to prove not only that they have a passport, but that they are in the country legally.

However, it’s possible illegal immigrants may not face much of a hurdle if local authorities don’t bring their policies in line with the list of accepted documents. In many instances, local authorities still accept documents that aren’t on the list approved by the attorney general.

A survey by The Associated Press of the websites or staff of probate courts in Georgia’s 25 most populous counties shows at least 21 currently accept a birth certificate or a foreign driver’s license as acceptable identification for those seeking a marriage license. Neither of those documents is on the attorney general’s list.

Unlike other utilities, which are generally managed by private companies in Georgia, water and sewage services are provided by local government agencies. Calls to water and sewage authorities in some parts of the state found that some currently accept foreign driver’s licenses, which is not acceptable under the current law.

Technically, an agency could be penalized under the law for accepting documents not on the attorney general’s list. But penalties are unlikely, as long as any problems that spark complaints are quickly rectified.

The author of last year’s illegal immigration crackdown, Rep. Matt Ramsey, said he believes all public agencies should comply with last year’s law and should accept only identification documents on the attorney general’s list. But the Peachtree City Republican added that he believes a U.S. birth certificate, though not a foreign one, should qualify as a “secure and verifiable” document. The attorney general’s office has the power to add documents to the list.

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Little Lamb
47854
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/12 - 08:14 am
2
2
It makes me sick when these

It makes me sick when these faux journalists hedge their stories with conditional phrases. Just look at these sentences from the story above:

A bill making its way through the Georgia Legislature could prevent illegal immigrants from being able to get a marriage license or access to water and sewage service in the state. . . . Loudermilk said the possibility of preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining marriage licenses and access to water and sewer was not intentional. . . . a list of “secure and verifiable” documents that government agencies could accept if they require identification for an official purpose. . . . However, it’s possible illegal immigrants may not face much of a hurdle if local authorities don’t bring their policies in line with the list of accepted documents. . . . I think my worry is that perhaps some legislators might not be aware of the implications of this because it seems so innocuous. . . .

If we don't want illegal aliens to be in our state, we certainly don't want them to marry in our state. What's the problem?

Little Lamb
47854
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/12 - 08:17 am
3
1
Marriage licenses are managed

Marriage licenses are managed by the Probate Court. If I were a state employee in the Probate Court office and a couple arrived seeking a marriage license and one or both of them were illegal alien, I would call local law enforcement to come escort them away from my office with no marriage license in their hands.

Riverman1
90139
Points
Riverman1 03/26/12 - 08:18 am
2
1
Ha, the way they come up with

Ha, the way they come up with phony papers, they could just buy a fake marriage license.

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 03/26/12 - 08:35 am
0
0
slowly but surely we are
Unpublished

slowly but surely we are finally waking up to make this state and hopefully the nation inhospitable or down righthostile to ALL illegal aliens, at least then there will be some decent jobs available to those wanting to work and we are not on the hook paying for welfare/food stamps or the cost and burden on our schools to educate them...if we all spoke english we would need ESOL (english for speakers of other languages) or allowing them to take college space away from a legal citizen who would other wise not be able to attend due to limited class space

noway
201
Points
noway 03/26/12 - 11:32 am
0
1
It's unfortunate that our

It's unfortunate that our legislators are wasting their time on this issue. Why don't they figure out how to stop supporting all of the AMERICANS on welfare and food stamps? If they spent as much time on that issue as they did the immigration issue, they could probably solve it. If they did some real research, they'd see that AMERICANS are taking advantage of the system and taking more from our government than these so called "illegal immigrants." When the research even showed that the illegal immigrants were a very small percentage in the state universities, they still passed stupid law. Why don't Americans become harder workers and better students and this wouldn't even be an issue! They aren't "taking" our jobs or "taking" our slots in education- Some Americans don't want to work and many Americans don't value education. Spare me the attack on illegal immigrants.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/26/12 - 04:43 pm
4
0
Yep, the answer to the

Yep, the answer to the problem is force them to live in sin, and stink. That should fix about everything.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 03/26/12 - 05:28 pm
0
0
Now I wonder what will happen
Unpublished

Now I wonder what will happen with people living in temp areas like some of the run-down motels in the area - will they not have water? Or how about the visitors fron Japan, Germany etc here for the Masters - will their rooms have no water or sewer service? In fact it may come to the point that foreign visitors can't come to Georgia because they have no Georgia ID, just a passport.

OJP
7448
Points
OJP 03/26/12 - 07:12 pm
2
0
@Willow Bailey: Haha, +1,000.

@Willow Bailey: Haha, +1,000. Do politicians have to sign a Goofy Pledge to earn that "R"?

dwb619
100525
Points
dwb619 03/26/12 - 07:57 pm
0
1
Marriage license isn't a deal

Marriage license isn't a deal braker.
Thirsting to death is.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/26/12 - 11:21 pm
0
0
noway I agree 100% they
Unpublished

noway I agree 100% they should stop the lazy leeches, and I think that should be the first priority. They will never address that issue though because even though millions of white people abuse the system as well, every time any type of reform is mentioned, its labeled being racist. Not to mention spreading the wealth of hard working Americans to those who don't deserve it and refuse to earn it on their own is the Democrat way, and it's a vote winner for them. It sickening to see so many Americans living off of others for no other reason except pure laziness. And they create millions of extra dependants, most of which will keep the family tradition going. But at the same time, that doesn't negate the fact these illegal criminals need to be dealt with also. You want in this country...do it the right way or get nada except jail time and maybe a free escort back to where you came from!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/26/12 - 11:27 pm
0
0
"Marriage license isn't a
Unpublished

"Marriage license isn't a deal braker.
Thirsting to death is."

That would be "deal breaker" and occupational hazard. Those criminals could have water in their own country while waiting to enter this country the correct and legal way, just like the long list of honest people waiting in line for their turn. You don't care about them and the fact you are making them wait and suffer longer....why should anyone care about you!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/26/12 - 11:43 pm
0
0
Amen LittleLamb!!!
Unpublished

Amen LittleLamb!!!

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