Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Brunswick News. March 2, 2024.

Editorial: Officials shouldn’t cherry-pick which laws to enforce

The recent murder of a nursing student on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens by an alleged attacker who police have identified as an illegal immigrant from Venezuela has galvanized the state General Assembly. Among the measures surviving Crossover Day Thursday, when legislation has to pass in at least one chamber to cross over to the other, is an act that takes direct aim at law enforcement agencies that are derelict in their duty.

House Bill 1105, also known as the Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act of 2024, will restrict state and federal funding for law enforcement agencies that fail to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal immigration authorities. Sheriffs who fail to report undocumented citizens in their custody to INS could also face the charge of violating their oath of office, a misdemeanor offense.

Apparently knowing who is prowling the streets of Georgia’s cities and communities is not an issue to House Democrats. They voted against HB 1105, which passed 97-74 with Republican support. Among other things, Democrats said they fear it will open the door to discrimination against men and women who are not U.S. citizens.

When did taking lawbreakers into custody, including people from other countries who are not authorized to be here, become a “discriminatory” act? Immigrants who break the law, who feel it is necessary to sneak into the country, do so being fully aware of the consequences if caught. Otherwise, they would have logged in at the front door.

Chances are, citizenship status would only come into play if arrested by law enforcement for committing another crime.

Sanctuary cities that allow undocumented aliens to roam freely, to live and work within their jurisdictions without fear of incarceration or deportation, are gambling with the safety and lives of constituents. Since the September 11 attacks and the deaths of close to 3,000 men, women and children, one would think all state and national leaders would want to know who’s crossing our borders and who’s in town.

At the very least, law enforcement should be reporting them to the proper authorities. Either we are a nation of laws or we are not.

Politicians should not be allowed to cherry-pick which laws to follow, which usually are the laws that happen to suit their philosophical beliefs at a given moment.