There is a battle in the Georgia Capitol over whether the Board of Regents -- the people who run the taxpayer-built University System of Georgia (USG) -- will be finally forced to stop admitting illegal aliens into Georgia's public universities and Tech Schools. It is quite educational to watch.
At issue is Senate Bill 458, introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville), which would streamline the process by which official agencies administer public benefits, increase security on acceptance of foreign passports as "secure and verifiable" identification to obtain benefits and insert impossible-to-redefine or ignore language into 2006 state law that was intended to have already stopped admission of illegal aliens into USG.
On the anti-enforcement, opposition side are the usual suspects, including the ACLU, virtually all of Georgia's many well-funded, tribal-centric, leftist illegal alien lobby corporations and yet another militant faction calling itself the "Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance" (rallying cry? "Undocumented, Unafraid, Unapologetic." Recently seen T-shirt blurb? "I am in the U.S. I-L-L-E-G-A-L-L-Y! Screw you!").
And with accompanying entourage, the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Hank Huckaby, recently appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, has testified in committee against passage of SB 458.
The goal of all state legislation aimed at illegal immigration is to make Georgia very unattractive to that crime. Enforcement, an undeniable deterrent, works. Resentful illegals have threatened to leave Georgia if the bill passes and is actually enforced.
The Regents' stated ambition is to educate the illegals so as to further "a productive Georgia."
Never mind that encouraging illegals to remain in the U.S. is a crime or that illegal aliens are not legally eligible to work anywhere in the USA. And that if admission policy in our tax-funded post secondary education system is based on the ludicrous premise that another amnesty is just around the corner, we may as well hoist the flag of surrender on all of our immigration laws. And our borders.
The outcome of SB 458 and the fight with the far left in the Republican-controlled Capitol will be quite enlightening for attentive voters for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is watching Gov. Deal on his rock-solid, no-nonsense 2010 campaign promise to "do whatever necessary to prohibit illegal aliens from attending any school in Georgia's university system and our technical college system."
The governor has remained silent on the bill. There are few days remaining in the 2012 session.
A similar House measure (HB 59) was allowed to expire this year after the former Democrat chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville), refused to allow a vote when it was clear that there were more than enough to pass the bill.
It is important to know that the same bill was heard in the same House committee last year and passed, with a "yes" vote from then-legislator Hank Huckaby. Because it was halted to focus on HB 87, it had to repeat the committee process this year.
The author of the landmark 2006 Georgia law on illegal immigration, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, has testified three times in committee that the intent of his law was to keep illegal aliens out of USG.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules, Don Balfour, has testified that his own active-duty Army son was unable to register for all of the preferred and needed classes to get a full load at Gainesville State University because of lack of classroom seats.
On her blog -- "Dissident Prof" -- Georgia-based writer and Emory University professor Mary Grabar recently described a February "Teach-In" she attended at Georgia State University College of Education, where "the discussion focused specifically on lobbying against legislation in the Georgia General Assembly. The event was attended by professors, teachers, students and professional activists. Jennifer Esposito, Associate Professor in the Georgia State College of Education, pledged to give her students extra credit for writing letters to Georgia legislators opposing legislation restricting illegal immigration."
Grabar reports that another topic discussed at GSU was "classroom strategies" for putting Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand and others on trial for "genocide."
Our universities have become de facto training camps to radicalize students -- including illegal aliens -- who the far-left sees as potential future voters. Georgia taxpayers should not be forced to provide public college classroom seats to illegal aliens.
The attitude of the GOP-led legislature should be "pro-enforcement, unafraid, unapologetic."
We will soon see.
D.A. King is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society and is a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration.