KING: Your taxes fund blocks to immigration enforcement

The Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Authority are not exactly well-known names to the average Georgian. They should be.

They are two of the largest and most powerful lobbying groups in the Georgia capitol. And neither of them seems to be on the same side of the illegal immigration/illegal employment fight as the citizen majority.

Including the ACLU and Jerry Gonzalez at the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, it would be difficult to find any organizations that are more effective in keeping meaningful punishments for violations out of the 2006 Georgia law aimed at illegal immigration.

Wait until you find out the source of their income. More on that farther down.

A brief look at their respective Web sites provides some insight into each group. ACCG: "The Association County Commissioners of Georgia is a nonprofit instrumentality of Georgia's county governments ..."

From the GMA Web site: "Our purpose is to anticipate and influence the forces shaping Georgia's communities and to provide leadership, tools and services that assist local governments in becoming more innovative, effective and responsive"

The defect is now brilliantly obvious in the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act intended to ensure that tax dollars are not spent to employ black-market labor or give public benefits to illegal aliens. There is virtually no punishment for violating the law.

That is not an accident. Let's be crystal clear on this: ACCG and GMA are directly and most responsible for the law being weak on enforcement tools.

GSICA went into effect in 2007 and required that all local governments use the E-Verify system to be sure they were not paying illegal aliens with tax dollars and to use the federal SAVE system to verify the eligibility of applicants for public benefits.

Even now, there is not 100 percent compliance.

In the 2009 legislative session, Gwinnett Rep. Tom Rice authored House Bill 2 to amend the language of the original law so that it would have "teeth." HB 2 was fought in every step of the long committee process by the ACLU, ACCG and GMA.

A much-watered-down version of HB 2 eventually passed, but still without any real punishment for violations, thanks to the dedicated and tireless "kill the bill" lobbying from ACCG and GMA.

Readers should know about two now-dead 2010 bills that would have created substantial and effective sanctions for the local governments and their contractors who are now treating the law as an option.

House Bill 1164 and the Georgia Public Works and Contractor Protection Act (Senate Bill 460) were written as fixes for "loopholes" in the 2006 law. They were gutted by ACCG and GMA and never allowed to go to a floor vote by House or Senate management.

I promised to let you know who is providing the funds to pay the salaries of the lobbyists at ACCG and GMA who work against enforcement of our state law that says we must obey federal immigration and employment and benefits laws.

You are. I am. We are. Both groups are funded by dues paid by member counties and cities, both of which get the money from taxes paid by the usual victims in illegal immigration -- the American taxpayer.

I am guessing not many readers were aware that they are indirectly paying anti-enforcement lobbyists' paychecks. If that strikes you as wrong, you should call ACCG or GMA.

Silence is consent.

D.A. King of Marietta is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which is opposed to illegal immigration. The Web site for the organization is www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org.