November 8-- The state of Georgia is dropping an investigation of charges by a Twin City man that Vidalia is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
Last year Michael Dale Smith filed a complaint with the newly created Immigration Enforcement Review Board based on concerns that the city is allowing local employers to take jobs away from U.S. citizens and give them to illegals.
"You've had illegal aliens in that city for a long time and others around here, too. It's cheap labor and the businessmen and the farmers have been doing the game and it's time for punishment," Smith said.
The chairman of the state board, Ben Vinson, says a decision to drop the case was made at a board meeting in September.
"I appointed a sub-committee of three of our board members to explore that case a little bit and also to explore the general allegations that Vidalia was a sanctuary city. The sub-committee reported back and said it did not appear there was enough evidence that would lead anybody to believe Vidalia is a sanctuary city. That being the case, we decided not to advance into a full blown investigation," Vinson reports.
Meanwhile, Vidalia city manager Bill Torrance says the whole situation has been a mystery to him. The city was notifed of Smith's allegations in a letter from the Enforcement Board last April and denied his claims in a letter of reply in June.
"It's just been bizarre to me. I don't understand it. I've never seen anybody nor talked to anybody from the Immigration Enforcement Board. Yet, all this has happened with the media and that Mr. Smith over in Twin City, it's just bizarre," he said.