McKoon proposes more crackdowns on DACA immigrants

[private]State Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) said Wednesday he’ll try to pass legislation that imposes more restrictions on immigrants who are allowed to reside in the U.S. under President Obama’s executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

McKoon plans to revise a bill he introduced in this year’s session, SB 6, that would prohibit the state from issuing driver’s licenses to people who are living here under the DACA program.

“According to the Department of Homeland Security, we have more illegal aliens than Arizona,” McKoon said at a Wednesday news conference.

“The Obama administration and local governments across the nation are releasing convicted, violent, deportable criminal aliens onto American streets who are murdering innocent people,” he contended.

McKoon said he would add these provisions to SB 6:

  • Impose sanctions against local law enforcement agencies that don’t comply with ICE requests to hold prisoners for federal enforcement action.
  • Require federal law enforcement agencies to provide data to local police departments “regarding criminal aliens released onto American streets by the Obama administration.”
  • Revise current law to emphasize that undocumented immigrants will not qualify for in-state college tuition or HOPE scholarships.
  • Prohibit Georgia from issuing professional licenses to teachers or attorneys who are undocumented immigrants.

McKoon cited the recent shooting death in San Francisco of a woman named Kate Steinle by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican immigrant who from 1998 to 2011 was convicted of illegally re-entering the U. S. five times after being deported.

The Steinle shooting, combined with statements by presidential candidate Donald Trump in which he called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug dealers, has aggravated the debate on the immigration issue in recent weeks.

“I don’t agree with that statement,” McKoon said when a reporter asked him about Trump’s inflammatory remark.

“It’s a shame that Sen. Josh McKoon is taking advantage of the tragedy that happened in San Francisco to do this,” said Jerry Gonzalez of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). “I think Georgia is better than this.”

In its original version, McKoon’s SB 6 did not get out of committee in this year’s legislative session.

Late in the session, McKoon attempted to force a vote on SB 6 by attaching it as an amendment to another bill, but that move was rejected by Republicans and Democrats alike.

“What this amendment does is, it punishes those (immigrant) kids for the sins of their fathers,” said Rep. Tommie Williams (R-Lyons). “Where is the common sense in that?”

In a related development, McKoon said he will also propose next session that the Senate change its rules to require that all votes on amendments be recorded.

When McKoon tried to attach SB 6 to another bill as a floor amendment, his motion was defeated by a 27-16 vote. The individual votes were not recorded, however, because senators agreed to what is known as a “show of hands” vote.

“Ending the practice of unrecorded votes, I suspect, will result in a more deliberative and transparent public policy formation process that benefits all involved,” McKoon said.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Barack Obama , DACA , immigration restrictions , Josh McKoon , Senate voting procedures