Comprehensive Immigration Reform Update 127

Georgia Proposed Legislation. As expected, several adverse immigration bills made progress in the Georgia General Assembly.

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee refused to recommend passage of SR 675 which would have proposed a constitutional amendment to 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. The Georgia Catholic Conference spoke against the resolution.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives will consider 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 Catholic Conference is opposing the bill.

The State Senate will consider 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.

Georgia Instate Tuition. A group of students who have qualified for DACA have now filed suit in federal district court in Atlanta seeking to require the State Board of Regents to give DACA students the benefit of lower instate tuition at Georgia public colleges http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-education/immigrants-without-legal-status-file-suit-over-geo/nqg6k/. The Georgia Supreme Court denied those benefits in a recent case but the suit in federal court could be more effective.

Texas vs. United States. The United States Supreme Court has now scheduled oral argument on April 18th on the issue of whether the Administration exceeded its authority to adopt the DAPA and expanded DACA programs. In addition to the direct parties, various amici curiae or “friends of the court” are submitting briefs on each side of the issue. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is joining a group of 24 other faith based organizations http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-029.cfm and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has joined more than 325 other non-profit organizations in supporting the validity of the programs for humanitarian needs. https://cliniclegal.org/news/clinic-joins-call-supreme-court-lift-stay-deportation-deferral-programs.