Red Tape from Georgia Immigration Law ‘Catastrophic,’ ‘Will Cost Jobs’

Long delays for those seeking professional licenses in Georgia is another result from that state’s immigration law.

Accountants, nurses and other professionals are among those effected and the potential impact has been described as “catastrophic.”

Former Secretary of State Cathy Cox said that the law is expected to create months-long bureaucratic delays and “direct consequences” for small businesses.

The current secretary of state, Brian Kemp, a Republican, has admitted that the law could delay the licenses for tens of thousands by an additional three to four months.

Anyone applying for professional licenses is required to show a “secure and verifiable” form of identification, such as a driver’s license from January 1st. 256,000 applications for licenses are expected next year and copies of these identification documents will have to be attached to each one  This is expected to triple processing times, according to Kemp. He is seeking a bigger budget to deal with the problem.

Another aspect of the law requiring use of E-Verify — which checks workers’ immigration status against Federal databases — appears unlikely to be audited because the state Legislature has not set aside any money or asked the responsible department “to provide any budget projections relative to that activity,” State Auditor Russell Hinton admitted to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday.

Cox agrees that the delays projected for licenses by Kemp are plausible given the requirements of the new immigration law and the budget cuts she said her former office has experienced in recent years.

“You could put people out of work who are in work. It could be catastrophic, truly,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“All the real true small business people run through this office of the secretary of state. And to put an impediment like that in front of them is going to have dire consequences for the business community.”

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce said that the delays are an “unintended consequence” of the immigration law.

“We hope that this issue can be resolved in a way that does not put an undue burden on Georgia businesses,” said a spokeswoman.

In Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley said Tuesday that his state’s immigration law may require changes to ‘simplify’ it. This comes after several sections have been declared unconstitutional as well as lobbying from local businesses negatively impacted by the law.

Bentley also told the Associated Press that he has avoided making public statements about his state’s controversial immigration law in part because he believes that it has damaged Alabama’s reputation by strengthening stereotypes about the state’s residents “living in the ’50s and ’60s.”

“I don’t want to be perceived as the face of illegal immigration bills in the country, and I could be that,” Bentley said.

Alabama native Condoleezza Rice also said this week that she was concerned that the law ‘has not helped the state’s image in the eyes of the world.’

Related stories:

More of Alabama Immigration Law Declared Unconstitutional

The GOP’s Two Faces on Immigration

An Alternative to Alabama’s Direction on Immigration

Photo credit: StripeyAnne


Steve R.
Steve R7 years ago

Paul C - "Seems that Conservatives do like 'onerous regulation'/'red tape'/'more government' when it fits their ideology" huh?

What would that ideology be perhaps - CATCHING CRIMINALS MAYBE?

I seem to remember having to show my ID for just about every damn thing I've ever had to do - on top of a bunch of other red tape!

But I guess this just shouldn't apply to illegal aliens right?

It's the illegal aliens - that bleeding heart liberals like you seem to love so much, who create the problem that requires more and more checks so that they can be caught!

It's us LEGAL Americans that have to suffer in order to solve a problem that liberals have created!

Get over yourself and realize that much more than you care to think IS just "handed out" to people that have no right to it!

Billie C.
Billie C7 years ago

illegal is illegal. this has nothing to do with legal immigrants only illegal aliens. our federal laws state that you have to have the proper paperwork to come live and work in our country. all the states are trying to do is stop the flood of illegals that the fed won't. they use resources and take jobs that belong to our citizens and legal immigrants. ga has some kinks to work out but the law is a good one. not all the farmers that are screaming should be. i know people that applied for those field jobs that didn't get their illegals and the farmers refused to hire them because they had never picked that crop before. of course they hadn't illegals have been doing it. they want to hire the illegals cause they don't have to pay real money.

Jason Shepard
Past Member 7 years ago

@Elizabeth K.: You're calling ME a racist? Well, isn't that ironic. You, who only show up on a thread to call names and cause trouble and never actually contribute anything to the discussion. You, who call on your cronies to gang up on people in a thread when someone disagrees with what very little you have to say worth commenting on.

ILLEGAL is NOT a RACE, it's a CRIME. Actually, it's a FELONY since they are in violation of FEDERAL LAW. They are entitled to something, though: a PRISON CELL and 3 square meals a day until their deportation.

If you'd actually do something for once and READ the LAW, you'd have a clue when you attempted to join a conversation rather than just spewing hate speech per normal. Grow up.

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jason Shepard
Past Member 7 years ago

(Continued from below):

$10 an hour or some ludicrous number like that), then they won't be able to maintain a workforce - just like ANY OTHER BUSINESS. Step it up and that won't happen.

The "woman in the picture" is my wife and she is on board with this 100%. In fact, she is trying to convince me that we need to move to Arizona to be somewhere that believes in the rule of law. Maybe you should read the law and you'd understand when someone violates it.

Jason Shepard
Past Member 7 years ago

@Elizabeth K.:

Yet again, I find you screaming for the illegal immigrants and to hell with American citizens. I wonder why that is? Then again, I don't really care since uninformed persons like yourself are what's dragging this country into the muck and allowing a full-scale invasion to continue.

Yes, I live in Illinois, but I would have no problem living in Alabama. In fact, I'd prefer it since Illinois is a pathetic "sanctuary state" and worthless Senator Durbin is a festering sore on Congress' face.

Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and others that have passed laws similar to this will be perfectly fine and better off for them. Arizona is doing much better and they started this whole procession and faced boycotts by several states (which failed miserably). Governor Brewer, Sheriff Arpaio and others have even received death threats and Sheriff Arpaio has a bounty placed on his head by a Mexican Drug Cartel. His response: I'm doing what's best for America and I'm not about to stop doing my job. He should be an example for law enforcement officers nationwide and Arizona is proof that the law works (at least the parts allowed to be enforced at this point).

Your businesses won't be lost IF and ONLY IF those business start hiring American workers for FAIR wages. If they refuse to pay FAIR wages, they won't survive and that'll be entirely on them. If they are trying to pay ridiculously low wages (I think I read on one of your posts that they were offering $10

Jason Shepard
Past Member 7 years ago

(Continued from below):

I give my business to those that don't outsource and completely ignore the convenience factor. Most Americans are too "busy" or in too much of a "hurry" and their complacency is the reason we are in this mess to begin with. If my family were starving, I certainly wouldn't risk a jail sentence and losing my family. I have family, friends, and backup methods in place. So sorry that you don't and that they didn't either. That was their fault - not mine. They broke United States law and should be treated as the criminals they are. Period.

Jason Shepard
Past Member 7 years ago

@Joslynne D.:

E-Verify is a functional database and has been for a while now. You must be the one that is misinformed. Granted, it is not a perfect system and has presented errors resulting in American Citizens being denied the ability to work, but that is temporary and those errors have been sorted out in due time. In the meantime, E-Verify will manage to allow many, many Americans to get jobs they otherwise wouldn't have been able to get. If I get to the point where I am doing the hiring, I will most certainly make use of the E-Verify system in addition to a thorough background check. Then again, I'll also offer a FAIR working wage, so Americans will want to work for me. If the crops are rotting in the ground, the farmers aren't willing to pay a fair wage to get workers. If those crops were here in Illinois near me, there would be a plethora of applicants - much like the 3,200 applicants the last cashier job opening at Target had including two friends of mine with Master's Degrees who can't find work anywhere else.

As far as being "Mr. High-and-Mighty", in your words, my family won't starve because I am prepared. Unlike the vast majority, when food costs started going up, I dug up my lawn and planted my own garden. We compost for fertilizer. When natural disasters started occurring more regularly, I converted one room in my basement to hold emergency supplies. We live very simply by choice so we are ready if it becomes by necessity instead. I give my busin

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K7 years ago

Jason wants Alabama to stay strong, but he lives in Illinois.

And he's pretty darn sure that all the people in Alabama and Georgia will be just fine, and if not, well they went down for a good cause in Jason's mind.

What's a few thousand people losing their businesses, if they "triumph over the illegal immigrant invasion".

Whoever that woman in his picture is? RUN! RUN AWAY!

Duane B.
.7 years ago

Thank you for the information.