Tue., January 24, 2012 4:40pm (EST)

Democrats: Repeal Immigration Law
By Jeanne Bonner
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
State Democrats want to repeal Georgia’s controversial immigration law. And they’re drafting several bills aimed at making state government more responsive and transparent. They unveiled their legislative agenda Tuesday at the state Capitol.
State Democrats want to repeal Georgia’s controversial immigration law. And they’re drafting several bills aimed at making state government more responsive and transparent. They unveiled their legislative agenda Tuesday at the state Capitol.
State Democrats want to repeal Georgia’s controversial immigration law. And they’re drafting several bills aimed at making state government more responsive and transparent. They unveiled their legislative agenda Tuesday at the state Capitol.

House Democrats want a commission to study tax subsidies. They also want to require lenders to file a court complaint and notify homeowners before foreclosing.

And they’re targeting last year’s immigration bill. They want to suspend E-Verify, a federal program employers use to vet workers’ immigration status.

A federal court has blocked parts of the law, but not the E-Verify provision.

Rep. Stacey Abrams, the House Minority Leader, says the law is bad economic policy.

“The most modest estimates place the price tag of six months’ of this bill at a minimum of $75 million – a price tag that only counts lost crops alone," she said at a press conference. "That’s real money to thousands of family farms, the small grocers, the shop owners who rely on Georgia’s agriculture industry to survive.”

Republicans control both houses of the legislature. They overwhelmingly passed the immigration law, and say they won't repeal it.

The Democrats are also proposing a bill that would require the state to inform local governments if it plans to close a state park. Rep. Debbie Buckner of Junction City says the bill would allow municipalities to then decide if they want to take over running the park.

“State parks serve as a key draw for tourism in rural Georgia, and rural communities deserve extra support,” she said.

Democrats will start holding weekly hearings to discuss issues and teach Georgians how to advocate for bills.