Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 125

Georgia Proposed Legislation. After a relatively quiet legislative session related to adverse immigration bills, there were several recent developments.

On Monday, February 29, the State Senate will debate and probably adopt a proposed amendment to the Georgia constitution to make English the official language of State government. SR 675, if adopted by the General Assembly and favorably voted upon by the electorate would declare English as the official language of the State of Georgia; provide that official state actions be in English; prohibit any requirement that any language other than English be used in any documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings, programs, or publications; and prohibit discrimination, penalties, or other limits on participation against persons who speak only English.

On Monday, the Senate is also likely to pass SB 6 which would provide that those with DACA status could only obtain restricted driving privilege licenses and separate identification cards indicating their immigration status.

The House of Representatives passed HB 781 which would allow State and local governments to appoint as members of policy making bodies only persons who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and legal residents of the State of Georgia.

It should be noted that each of these measures faces additional debate before they become law.

Bishops Continue to Speak on Immigration. Catholic bishops continue to speak and relate immigration policy to the dignity of the human person as emphasized by Pope Francis and Catholic social teaching. Cardinal Sean O’Malley: http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2016/02/18/cardinal-us-immigration-policy-must-combine-compassion-and-safety/. Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange and Chairman of the board of CLINIC: https://cliniclegal.org/news/clinics-board-chairman-reflects-its-work-light-pope-franciss-border-visit-and-season-lent