A group of state senators this week let their opinions be known on a proposed federal immigration bill currently being considered in the U.S. Senate.
Buford legislator Renee Unterman joined with colleagues in a letter urging Georgia's U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson to vote no on the measure.
In the letter, the elected officials proposed proactice solutions to the reform issue, highlightig border security and providing a fair, equit able path to citizenship.
"While we undoubtedly need to address the complex issue of immigration reform, we must ensure we're doing what's right for all Americans, especially the people of Georgia," said Sen. Josh McKoon, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who helped author the letter. "In its current form, the proposed immigration bill would likely come at a high cost to taxpayers, leave unresolved security issues along the border and grant amnesty to countless illegal immigrants. While we wholeheartedly support legal paths to immigration, it is important we are respectful to the countless immigrants who obtained their citizenship through legal channels."
State leaders took on the issue in 2011 with House Bill 87, which said companies with more than 10 employees are required to use the free and quick E-Verify program to ensure prospective employees are legal U.S. citizens. It also allows law enforcement to check immigration status of suspects during the regular investigation of criminal acts. The law was revisited in the 2013 session with a bill that clarifies and streamlines the verification process when applying for or renewing business licenses and public benefits.
The new acting chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia started her tenure with a fundraising pitch.
Nikema Williams, who took over the role after the resignation of Loganville lawyer Mike Berlon, sent out a fundraising email on her first day Monday.
"I would like to personally thank each of you for your unyielding support of the Democratic Party of Georgia, not only over the last few weeks, but also for the weeks, months, and years ahead as we move our party and state FORWARD," she said, highlighting President Obama's re-election campaign slogan. "Georgia is rapidly becoming one of the most competitive battleground states in the country but the road ahead is not an easy one. We have an open U.S. Senate seat to position ourselves to win and we have numerous races up and down the ballot that we can win if we all work together. ... The road to victory starts today; together we will move this state FORWARD."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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