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June 11--  Uvalda Mayor Paul Bridges was part of the delegation gathered in the White House Tuesday morning as President Obama urged passage of immigration legislation in the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, eleven state senators from Georgia are urging Georgia's U.S. senators to vote against the bill in the Senate. 

{mosimage}Mayor Bridges has testified before congressional committees in support of legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.

According to a White House press advisory, "The President delivered remarks in the East Room reiterating his strong support for commonsense reform legislation to fix our broken immigration system, and the economic and national security benefits that reform will deliver.

"At the event the President praised the bipartisan progress that continues to be made in the Senate, which has its first floor vote on the bill this week, and highlight the broad coalition of leaders who agree that the shared principles of strengthening and increasing border security, providing an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable, and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century must be central to any effort.

"Joining the President were law enforcement representatives, business and labor leaders, faith leaders, and Republican and Democratic elected officials who are all also calling on the Senate to pass a bill that meets these important principles," the statement said.


In addition to Mayor Bridges, those joining the President today included:

.        Chief William Bratton, Former Chief of Police, LAPD and NYPD

·         Tom Donohue, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce

·         Steve Case, President and CEO, Revolution LLC

·         Julian Castro, Mayor, San Antonio, Texas

·         Luis Cortes, President, Esperanza USA

·         Barrett Duke, Director of the Research Institute, Southern Baptist Convention

·         Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County, Texas

·         Carlos Gutierrez, Former Secretary of Commerce 

·         Mary Kay Henry, International President, SEIU

·         Marlon Hill, Former President of the Caribbean Bar Association

·         Gary Loveman, President and CEO, Caesars Entertainment

·         Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County, California

·         Mee Moua, President and Executive Director, Asian American Justice Center

·         Gabriela Pacheco, DREAMer and Director, The Bridge Project

·         Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner 

·         Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

·         Tolu Olubunmi, DREAMer

State Senators Urge "No" Vote

June 11, 2013

TO: U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson

Dear Senators Chambliss and Isakson: We the undersigned urge you to vote “no” on the proposed immigration bill currently being considered in the United States Senate.

While we recognize numerous flaws with the proposal pending before the U.S. Senate, there are a few we would care to comment on in detail: First, the start of real conservative reform on immigration is very simple — that is to provide for tight security along our borders at our ports and other points of entry to our nation. The remedies offered in the proposed bill are pitiful and provide no assurance that our territorial integrity will be maintained. Amendments offered in the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide for such security were voted down. When we cannot control ingress and egress into and out of the United States we not only lose control over immigration policy but a vital portion of homeland defense as well.

Second, we oppose a path to citizenship for anyone who willingly and knowingly comes into our country illegally. Amnesty is contrary to the rule of law, fundamentally unfair to those who play by the rules and wait to immigrate legally, and will only encourage more illegal immigration. Amnesty was part of the 1986 federal effort to comprehensively address immigration at that time when we had fewer than an estimated 3 million illegal immigrants. Despite that blanket amnesty today we have over 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and Georgia now ranks 6th in the nation in the number of illegal immigrants. In short another blanket amnesty will do nothing to address the long term root causes of this problem.

Third, we have seen no cost estimate on how great a financial burden this bill will place on the State of Georgia and local governments in terms of the increased burden on state and local services. Even Los Angeles County officials in California are expressing concern over additional burdens being placed on local services as a result of the new proposal. Additional burdens on public health care, our education system, and other state and local services will only aggravate already precarious budget issues in our state. The Medicaid liability alone created by instantly creating hundreds of thousands of new enrollees would be sufficient to bankrupt our state.

Immigration problems are in reality a series of very different, complex, and difficult issues. They deserve a thoughtful, reasoned dialogue that should include federal, state and local elected officials as well as other stakeholders if we are to develop a real immigration reform package. We also should be able to expect aggressive enforcement of existing immigration law. Passage of the proposal now pending would do nothing to address these systemic problems and would create an even greater unemployment problem by expanding vastly thelabor pool at a time when our economy is beginning a very slow and sluggish recovery process.

In conclusion, we the undersigned respectfully ask that you vote against this proposed immigration bill as it is not in the best interest of the people of Georgia. We need to stand firm on border security and only then move on to addressing other related issues.


Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon, Georgia State Senator Judson Hill, Georgia State Senator John Albers, Georgia State Senator Buddy Carter, Georgia State Senator William Ligon, Georgia State Senator Mike Crane, Georgia State Senator Renee Unterman, Georgia State Senator Chuck Hufstetler, Georgia State Senator Barry Loudermilk, Georgia State Senator Burt Jones, Georgia State Senator Lindsey Tippins