Let’s not Forget Georgia

In addition to Alabama, we can also have Georgia on ours minds on the ongoing immigration debate.

A comment on my post on Alabama’s new immigration law reminded me of a piece on Georgia’s recent foray into immigration reform as it pertains to jobs (and that also furthers my point about these moves being far more about ideology as opposed either to job creation or to efficacious and rational policy-making).

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle we have the following:   Deal wants data on immigration law’s impact on farms

Gov. Nathan Deal is asking for an expedited report on how the crackdown on illegal immigration enacted by the General Assembly this spring is affecting Georgia agriculture.

Farmers have complained in recent weeks that their crops are rotting in the fields and orchards because migrant workers afraid of deportation are bypassing Georgia in droves, even though the law doesn’t take effect until July 1.

Deal, who signed the legislation last month and has been a strong supporter of immigration reform, said he wants to get beyond anecdotal evidence and look at actual numbers.

[…]

“We’re trying to build a database instead of generalities and broad statements,” the governor told members of the Atlanta Rotary Club Monday during a luncheon speech. “We want to get some facts.”

Now, I am all for getting “beyond anecdotal evidence” and for “looking at actual numbers,” not to mention ye olde “get[ting] some facts'” but that is the kind of thing that one ought to do before one passes major legislation that has the potential to negatively affect a state’s economy.

However, passing a law first and asking key questions later, is often a sign of acting out of ideological first, as opposed to thinking in terms of efficacy.  This is not to say that laws should never spur questions once asked, indeed we would expect them to do so.  However, it would be nice to deal with central issues before legislation is passed, rather than after.

h/t:  Greg Weeks

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    The farmers had to know the impact of the laws just from speaking with their workers. Imo, this says a lot about the lack of political power that agri-business has in these states anymore. It’s about ideology and if the politicians in question knew the impact before they pushed these laws, they’re either idiots or they’re expecting the Federal government to come in, repeal the law and then the aforementioned politicians can blame the “problem” on the feds.

  2. Gustopher says:

    My heart goes out to those businesses that were employing illegal aliens to depress wages, and now are unwilling to pay higher wages to get documented workers. A tragedy.

  3. James Joyner says:

    We’re all Georgians now.

  4. Raven Lee says:

    Your site has been reported as a malware attack site by Panda AV and is being blocked.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/lets-not-forget-georgia

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Keep attacking Hispanics and they’ll be politicized. Sooner or later you’ll get actions like this as political demonstrations. Mexicans and descendants of Mexicans do a very big share of the hard work in this country.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    “passing a law first and asking key questions later” . . . sounds like the legislation extending Mueller’s term.

  7. @PD:

    Actually it sounds like a lot of legislation (unfortunately), although I don’t see an exact parallel between the GA law and the issue of a 2 year extension for Mueller, given that legislation that affects a whole industry (with commensurate spin-offs) strikes me as a bit different that tinkering with the term of an office already set by legislation in the first place

    The parallel is especially problematic since, last I checked, hearings were still in process (i.e., question being asked, one would hope) and the legislation hasn’t passed as yet.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    M.R.

    I guess all those “hard working” hispanics is why El Paso Texas is such a boom town and why all of the college educated whites are moving to Brownsville, Texas to benefit from all of the high quality workers. I guess that work ethic is why UCLA, Arizona State, or the University of Texas is turning out such a huge number of Hispanic engineers, scientist, and computer programmers. I guess all of those hard working Hispanics are producing a massive amount of tax dollar and California is not running a budget deficit or spending so much money of prisons, ESL, or social workers.

    Why is it only progressives who keep saying that conservatives should support open borders and unlimited immigration when those “hard working” Hispanics will never vote for the more conservative party but always vote for the party that promises to tax the crap out of the gringos and give the money to them.

  9. Tano says:

    Well, I guess we will run the experiment

    One imagines that unemployment levels for the citizens of Georgia will plummet as they take up all these agricultural jobs that are opening up.

    I guess we will be able to quantify that effect, and that should inform all future debates on the subject.

  10. A voice from another precinct says:

    Dr. Taylor,

    Remember the line from the second “Night in the Museum” movie?

    “Plans? My God, boy, we’re Americans; we don’t plan, we act!”

    I think the same adage applies here–witness sd’s comment above and I believe that you can add “think” to the list of things “American’s” don’t do.

  11. mantis says:

    Why is it only progressives who keep saying that conservatives should support open borders and unlimited immigration

    Name one progressive who says that. Just one.

  12. Third Eye Open says:

    I guess that work ethic is why UCLA, Arizona State, or the University of Texas is turning out such a huge number of Hispanic engineers, scientist, and computer programmers.

    They aren’t producing white graduates for these degrees either. I guess by the transitive property of lazy, white people are hitting the bottom of the barrel too. Perhaps we should just defer to our racial-betters and start learning Mandarin?

  13. clestes says:

    Well, what do you know. Another unexpected result from a stupid decision that wasn’t thought through and just passed based on rightwing halfassed racists, fear inspired beliefs And the cost is to the farmers who can least afford it. It isn’t to the legislators. At least not yet. Maybe in 2012 the farmers and others in the state will get tired of half assed racists feared decisions and they will be voted out.

  14. pseudonymous in nc says:

    My heart goes out to those businesses that were employing illegal aliens to depress wages, and now are unwilling to pay higher wages to get documented workers. A tragedy.

    Your sarcasm is noted. What you didn’t share was a willingness to cover part of those higher wages by paying more per pound for Vidalias and peaches at the grocery store.