Georgia House Democrats Demand Repeal of Anti-Business Provision of Immigration Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2012
GEORGIA HOUSE DEMOCRATS DEMAND REPEAL OF ANTI-BUSINESS PROVISION OF IMMIGRATION BILL
Atlanta, Ga. – December 4, 2012 – Rep. Debbie Buckner, backed by the Georgia House Democratic Caucus, pre-filed the “Citizenship Protection Act” to repeal a controversial provision that requires American citizens to repeatedly prove their citizenship to renew professional licenses, to obtain business licenses and in other dealings with state or local governments.
“This requirement has delayed renewal of professional licenses across the state, and some report their applications have been delayed by several weeks. Insurance agents and nurses who have lived and worked in Georgia their entire lives have been told that making a living is a ‘public benefit.’ That’s not right,” said Rep. Buckner. “The Citizenship Protection Act is a common-sense solution to a problem that is costing Georgians time and money. A U.S. citizen should not have to prove her citizenship every year to keep her business going. Once is enough.”
The legislation would repeal the legal requirement that applicants for “public benefits” in Georgia repeatedly demonstrate their citizenship. Currently, the term “public benefit” includes renewing professional licenses and business licenses. This new regulation was established in 2011. The State of Georgia requires a number of occupations to renew professional licenses each year, including plumbers, barbers, nuclear pharmacists and veterinarians.
According to the Secretary of State’s letter on his website, “Since fiscal year 2008, the Professional Licensing Boards Division has tackled a 15% budget reduction and a 32% personnel reduction. For fiscal year 2013, the Division is forced again to tackle cuts totaling 2% of its budget. In addition to budget and personnel reductions, the Division has faced an additional workload created by the requirements of secure and verifiable documentation for licensure and the growth of professional licensing applications.” The website indicates that as of November 18, 2012, more than 113,000 applicants are awaiting action by the state.
“Georgia Democrats believe in economic security and fixing government so it works. This requirement that Americans prove their citizenship to do their jobs is contrary to the goal of getting Georgians back to work and should be immediately repealed in January,” said House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “We are pleased that Rep. Buckner is moving forward to tackle this issue. This should be a bi-partisan bill that everyone can support to support professionals and small businesses.”
For more information, visit www.gahousedems.com.
Contact: Emily Oh
House Democratic Caucus