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141 Comments

  1. 1

    Barbara

    Our country needs Immigration. However, there has to be a system of laws that are actually enforced. These people knew what they were doing was illegal but at no point was ANY responsibility placed on them for coming to the US the lawful way. No one wants to see families broken or children without parents, no one.

    We cannot simply be a nation without boarders. Please Gigi, can you tell us the immigration and deportation policies of Mexico? Because I can’t help but notice you left out those deportation statistics, which for the record are much greater than ours.

  2. 2

    DresdenDog

    “While Canadians almost double the number of Mexicans overstaying their visas and therefore staying in the country unlawfully, we have not heard any reports of Canadians being detained or deported for breaking federal law”
    I know you singled out “visas”, but are you also arguing that there are more Canadian undocumented/illegal immigrants in the United States than Mexican? You also argue about the cost of deportation but fail to mention the BILLIONS that it costs American Taxpayers in education and healthcare costs. Let’s flip the switch. I want to live in Cabo San Lucas but don’t want to go thru the legal immigration channels. What happens to me there? You know the answer….

  3. 3

    Kim

    Thank you, Gigi, for your leadership and tireless efforts. So shines a bright light in a weary world.

  4. 4

    Tom Reilly

    The photograph accompanying this article makes my blood run cold. What about the man’s family, let alone his contribution to his community?? Our son-in-law is from Columbia, my wife grew up in Peru and El Salvador, both of us speak Spanish. Substitute the word “Jew” for “Latino” and see how this particular theory is working out in practice–again??

  5. 5

    Mills

    Illegal is illegal, thats why its called that. The anchor baby rule is ridiculous, no other country in the world has a rule like that. Illegally come into the us and have multiple kids that are citizens, cmon. Healthcare and education are not free, taxpayers, many without kids, have to pay for that. If we fall short of blue collar workers then we have a controlled, legal process to let people in on work visas. No other country, except Germany in the last couple of years, lets mass amounts of people come in like we have over the past 30-40 years and at least a lot of those people were fleeing a war and war crimes. Also that’s a million people versus the 11 to 20 million we let in. Its time to have enforced laws and a boarder again, there is nothing illegal or discriminatory about that.

  6. 6

    Heather

    Didn’t many illegal immigrants help build the city of Atlanta?

    What a wonderful way to repay them.

  7. 7

    Mikael Ohman

    Very thoughtful. While illegal immigration is a problem for any society and has to managed appropriately, actions like this are troubling for a few other reasons not mentioned in this opinion.

    1. I lived and worked in the old Soviet Union many years ago. The Soviets required all citizens to carry an “internal” passport at all times that showed resident rights for a given city. I first hand witnessed raids at rail stations and markets where parents not carrying the paperwork were detained on the spot and sent away, leaving kids to fend for themselves. And saw situations where legal residents were pointed out by their neighbors as suspected illegals and subjected to basically having to prove their rights. This created a climate of fear, distrust, and disproportionate powers for the “internal security services”. If we’re not very careful, we’ll end up in a similar place here. All under the guise of “we’re just enforcing the law and protecting national security”.

    2. Legal immigrants like myself, my wife and many friends get rather jittery and nervous and start thinking about alternative places to live as there seems to be no guarantee that even legal immigration paperwork like green cards will be honored. Many people, and a vocal part of the public debate, don’t separate legal immigration from illegal. All immigrants are getting portrayed by many as bad people and a burden on society. Personally, I’ve paid a lot of taxes in this country over twenty years and started a business that’s employing 20 odd people. Many of my friends are in a similar situation. What used to be a welcoming place for people of different backgrounds is becoming hostile and certainly feels less like home recently. In hindsight, not such a good idea to start a business here as it makes it harder to pack up and move if needed.

    My America is all about freedom and a strong legal, moral and ethical framework to support that. Immigration raids and blanket deportations, while in theory fine (“we’re just enforcing the law and protecting national security”), undermine that notion. Independent of political affiliation, all of us should be very wary of allowing heavy handed enforcement of any law to occur. This country is better than that.

  8. 8

    Dump Trump

    From A CNN Article By Tal Kopan, CNN, Updated 2:50 PM ET, Sat January 28, 2017 – The immigration executive orders signed by President Donald Trump this week could amount to a vast expansion of authority for individual immigration officers and a dramatic increase in efforts to detain and deport undocumented immigrants.

    The order lays out a series of categories of undocumented immigrants that immigration law enforcement officials should prioritize for removing from the country, a reaction to what was criticized by the right as lax enforcement of immigration law by former President Barack Obama.
    But experts say the descriptions include virtually every person in the country illegally and give broad latitude to individual immigration officers to decide who should be detained for deportation.

    In addition to a strain on resources, critics worry the orders could cause legal concerns.

    The Obama administration had prioritized expulsion of undocumented immigrants who threatened public safety or national security, had ties to criminal gang activity, committed serious felony offenses or were habitual misdemeanor criminal offenders.

    Trump’s order goes far beyond that, using a sweeping definition of “criminal” and giving a single immigration officer the ability to make judgments on threats to public safety.

    The order says the priority will be removing deportable immigrants who “have been convicted of any criminal offense; have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved; have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency; have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”

    The full article is here. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/politics/donald-trump-immigration-detention-deportations-enforcement/

  9. 9

    Posey

    Tell me what good this does? Those men are leaving families behind that they supported. This solves nothing!

  10. 10

    BlahBlahBlahBlah

    I want people to take a few minutes to drive up and down Buford Hwy and imagine yourselves living in these apartments, 1 or 2 bedrooms, with 5,6, 7 roommates. You work 3 jobs, and if you have no family here you send all your money back to your home country so you can support your family, to try to give them a better life. Many of the buildings are substandard, and they can’t afford furniture, clothes, anything. They work jobs that no one commenting on this site would want to take. They move here, to these awful conditions, not because they are seeking to take from those of us lucky enough to be born here, but because it is better than where they come from – and they don’t have it good here. Imagine that for a minute. And those kids? That are born here? They have every right to education, medicine, etc, as American citizens. Whether you agree with birthright citizenship in the US it is a fact and you can’t take that away from them. If you deport families without their children what happens to them? They get put into the foster care system or they have to leave the only country they know (and at their own expense, which many can not afford to do, so families are separated for who knows how long) – and the country they have as much right to live in as you all do.

    I believe these kinds of roundups occurred in another period of time in our history, and let’s think about how horrible that was.

  11. 11

    Heather

    Agreed. Thanks Gigi.

  12. 12

    abc

    They broke the law.

  13. 13

    Dump Trump

    ANYONE in the USA – Illegally or Legally – HAS RIGHTS.

  14. 14

    Heather

    Unfortunately a lot of people have reached a very scary place where they no longer feel empathy towards those they’ve deemed “others”.

    Several years ago a street in the Atlanta part of my neighborhood near Buford Highway started blocking off a street from cars for trick-r-treating.

    Some people started complaining that they didn’t like “others” that didn’t live in houses nearby coming into the neighborhood “expecting free handouts”.

    (Isn’t all Halloween candy technically a “free handout”?)

    So several people’s solution was to essentially start giving out separate “white-kid” and “non-white kid” candy. (The “white” candy is much better. )

    It is so crazy to me that people can live with so much anger and hatred in their hearts- even towards children.

  15. 15

    Hunter Burke

    I am so very confused as to what makes this news as opposed to an Op-Ed, or, a Letter To The Editor. It espouses opinion, not fact, and makes no mention of the laws that govern our nation. Some laws are unpopular, like prohibition, while some are popular, like you can’t beat someone. Nevertheless, they are our laws and you cannot debate enforcement, you can only choose to change them. Those being seized and deported broke the law, what we do with that law is the question.

  16. 16

    Absurd article

    The post should be ashamed for publishing such nonsense. The article is basically a solicitation to brake the law. What miss bleeding heart fails to mention is that 95% of the raids that take place are to remove criminal illegals. Heaven forbid we take a father away from his family for being a criminal. Happens everyday but luckily for these guys they don’t go to jail, just Mexico. Your Canadian stat is entirely misleading. Also do the math for me on unpaid taxes and free healthcare for these illegals? Oops you left that out too. Lastly, these raids have been going on for years and now you care because “Donald Trump” is behind it all. The organization you represent looks to be non-profit. I find it interesting that an organization that gives guidance to individuals to break our laws can still be tax exempt. Hell, for that matter not considered a criminal organization.

    Facts don’t care about your feelings!

  17. 17

    Susan

    Welcome to America and thank you for coming legally.

  18. 18

    Dump Trump

    ANYONE in the USA – Illegally or Legally – HAS RIGHTS.

  19. 19

    Dump Trump

    Says the racist Trump supporter. ANYONE in the USA – Illegally or Legally – HAS RIGHTS

  20. 20

    Sally Forth

    Are you saying they arebillegal? Or simply legal immigrants? If illegal, they should go back and come in through legal means.

  21. 21

    Sally Forth

    They are free to take their families with them, and should. They knew they were here illegally and that they bore children in utter dusregard for those children’s status. Children should not be used as excuses to stay, or anchors.

  22. 22

    Randy Watson

    Posey – this fulfills a republican fantasy land (where they see only in black and white) about ‘getting tough.’ When in reality, those folks they have singled out are often already marginalized and in the shadows. In most instances those same folks are here just looking for an honest day’s work and are willing to do the jobs that not many ‘red blooded Americans’ seem to want to do any more (e.g., landscaping, working on farms, janitorial, etc.). For all of the throw-’em out crowd, who else would Jesus choose to throw to the curb?

  23. 23

    Sally Forth

    I can only assume your home was not broken into yet, by a team of Mexican immigrants, as mine was. These oeople are breaking the law. The law is, and was clear. They can stay in Mexico and try to make it a better place as far as sending money back to Mexico they are taking it out of our country, depriving our economy. Many countries have prohibitions against sending funds out. We should too.

  24. 24

    Sovereign Citizen

    You need to join me and help me complete my list of American laws I feel should be ignored.

  25. 25

    Sally Forth

    The people in the United States have rights too. And ours trump theirs.

  26. 26

    ATINBF

    Your argument would be more impactful if you actually could spell – it’s “break”, “not “brake”.

  27. 27

    Sally Forth

    Citing CNN for the purpose of persuasion is not oarticularly effective given its express bias.

  28. 28

    Heather

    “You cannot debate enforcement”-

    Actually the US as well as Georgia has a long history of agreeing to turn a blind eye to many laws when it’s convenient.

    Sodomy for example was illegal in Georgia until rather recently, and while there are certainly members of the gay community that were persecuted for it, for the most part police in Atlanta weren’t in more modern times routinely rounding up gay men.

  29. 29

    Saul

    Tom, if your wife and son-in-law came here legally they have nothing to fear. Maybe the words to substitute should be “Christian” for “Muslim”.

  30. 30

    Susan

    Yeah, like you or anyone else have never had problems with spell check incorrectly correcting your perfect written words.

  31. 31

    Heather

    What about the federal government choosing to look the way about federal marijuana laws?

    You have people using Marijuana because they’ve been told that it’s legal by their state- while it’s technically still illegal federally.

    Are you going to throw all these people in jail ?

  32. 32

    Jesse

    Wait til your house cleaning, landscaping, poultry and fruit, and home renovation costs double. That’s when the R’s will feel the pressure.

    Once the opportunity zones are enforced by mayor and council, the new developments will drive all the Buford Highway residents out without the need for ICE agents.

  33. 33

    Hunter Burke

    DT: Any time a person “has rights” it is always followed by “under the law”. Laws give us rights, these illegal immigrants have broken the law, and in doing such, have given up many of their rights. Pasting your stupid reply over and over does not increase your credibility, it exemplifies the weakness of your “argument”, if you can call it that.

  34. 34

    William Jefferson Clinton

    We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of immigration laws we have seen recently and we must do more to stop it. -1995 State of the Union Address

  35. 35

    Enviro

    So you think labor laws should be enforced?

    I assume that means you are appalled at the idea of a rich white guy who broke immigration laws by hiring an illegal immigrant was appointed by the president to be Secretary of Labor?

  36. 36

    Enviro

    I have been a victim of crimes. Always white guys. But I am not an advocate of holding all white guys responsible. Except perhaps the Trump cabinet. Totally fine with seeing those crooks getting rounded up.

  37. 37

    Enviro

    So did Trump’s Labor Sec nominee, Andrew Puzder, who hired an illegal immigrant.

    Shoot, so is Trump, with his violation of ethics laws and the Constitution! But conservatives seem pretty cool with utter lawlessness among rich white dudes, even though it hurts them far more than what these immigrants have done.

  38. 38

    Heather

    Isn’t it funny that most Republicans had no problem building Atlanta illegally? As long as there was cheap labor?

    NOW there’s concern about illegal labor after the city has been built.

    “Funny” how that works.

  39. 39

    Heather

    And don’t forget about the cost of eating out at restaurants!

    As someone that waitressed and bartended throughout high school and college I cannot think of one place that was staffed entirely by legal residents.

  40. 40

    Chamblee Dad

    enforcing immigration laws, what a bizarre concept…

  41. 41

    Yakety yak!

    The illegals that sneaked over the border the last 15-20 years have milked OUR system , skirted OUR laws of OUR country and thumbed their noses at OUR law abiding Americans. So they’ve broken the laws, now FINALLY we have a real president, that will ENFORCE our laws, and they all want to cry like they are victims! It’s certainly true that some of them are good people (can’t say honest), but generally good. But look at the mess their countries are in. Maybe if they would organize and stand for something, they could help root out the corruption and make their countries good places to work, live and raise their families. But they’d rather take the easy way out, knowing all the left agencies and catholic church would help set them up in America where they’ve been living a convenient LIE since they’ve been here! And this break up families crap is just that-CRAP! Take your children back home w/ you! Should have thought about that before you began your life of crime and before bringing so many babies into the unstable living situation! Cry me a damn river! I have no sympathy!

  42. 42

    BlahBlahBlahBlah

    What a nasty, horrible comment. I laugh at the notion that their life here is easy or cushy and they are taking the easy way out. I wonder if you have ever stepped outside your privileged bubble to consider that their life here is better than where they come from but far from good or easy.

    PS – A CHILD BORN HERE IS ALLOWED TO BE HERE. THEY ARE CITIZENS. THEY DID NOT ASK TO BE BORN HERE AND YOU CAN NOT DEPORT THEM. Ugh.

  43. 43

    BlahBlahBlahBlah

    You can not deport a US citizen. Those children you are ready to callously deport back to a country they are not from are legally allowed to be here. Talk about utter DISREGARD for children. They are not anchors. They are citizens.

  44. 44

    Heather

    Actually a lot of American citizens- including wealthy farm owning citizens have helped immigrants come over- in many cases there was no “sneaking” just a very institutionalalized “looking the other way”.

    With all the outraged Republicans concerned about terrorism- it’s curious that they’re not concerned about the opportunity for biological terrorism once we’re no longer capable of producing food in our own country.

    But then again, to believe that the potential to poison imported food is a threat, one has to believe in science.

    Can we at least agree that Americans ability to produce our own food supply is what helped us win The American Revolution?

  45. 45

    flubber

    I know of a certain industry in NW Ga that routinely falsified green cards for their employees until ICE caught them.

  46. 46

    Larsen B.

    Don’t you realize it isn’t that easy? What if they can’t afford to travel back, I doubt ICE will pay for that. How do they survive with no income?

  47. 47

    Sally Forth

    As long as illegal immigrants are here to hire for lawn care, cleaning, etc, of course people hire them. They can undercut the prices charged by U.S. Citizens or companies. If you have never hired an illegal you are the exception.

  48. 48

    Sally Forth

    Those red blooded Americans you are talking about may be collecting welfare. If we rid ourselves of illegal immigrants we will open jobs to them. If they are too fine to take thise jobs they should lose their welfare payments.

  49. 49

    Sally Forth

    I would rather have the choice to pay higher prices rather than the requirement to pay higher taxes to support the illegal immigrant.

  50. 50

    Reality Bites

    Last Thursday, a man left his apartment on Buford Highway on his way to a friend’s, he was stopped by ICE agents, he gave them a false name, they took him into custody, he was found with 22 packets of Meth, stolen property from auto break-ins, and a pistol believed used in a series of crimes.. He is held in custody pending deportation.
    A different, though realistic, version of the same story.

  51. 51

    Heather

    Were you filing the same complaints when these people were building this city?

    Did you demand to see the papers of everyone that built your home, place of business, and our local public facilities? Do you make sure everyone is legal before patronizing a a restaurant or place of business?

    Actually- forget all those questions.

    Do you you have a plan to sustain life after we’ve barbarically deported the people that help us live?

    “Victory Gardens” are fun and all that, but most Americans don’t have the knowledge or resources to independently feed ourselves.

  52. 52

    Heather

    Sally,

    if the day comes that my house is robbed by some alleged “Mexican immigrants ” casing my house as trick-r-treaters– I will happily say that I that I still stand by my decision to have lived my life as a happy, tolerant person not living my life in a constant state of anger, paranoia and fear.

  53. 53

    Heather

    So?

    I once had a white Christian dude forcefully grab me by the p***y.

    Maybe the cops should start driving around arresting entititled white men.

  54. 54

    Eric Robert

    Before 1997 you could apply for a Green Card through a U.S. Child. Since 1997 they have to be 21 years old and if you entered without papers it’s still very difficult to get a Green Card. The utter falsehood of the Anchor Baby argument is a perfect example of the utter dishonesty of certain race baiting done by certain politicians.

    As to costs, undocumented immigrants pay taxes. Google immigrants and social security taxes. They pay sales taxes and property taxes, yes even those who rent pay property taxes. In fact in DeKalb Rental units are taxed at a higher rate because they do not get the Homestead Exemption.

  55. 55

    Mikael Ohman

    Susan – with all due respect you’re missing my point. I came to a inclusive country with values I supported and respected. At current course and speed I would leave behind a country that’s hostile and doesn’t want a thing to do with me or my fellow immigrants. If I had known this would happen I would never have moved here and stayed where I came from. Not perfect, but at least compassionate and not openly xenophobic.

  56. 56

    Eric Robert

    While “Improper Entry” into the U.S. is a criminal misdemeanor, but it needs to be proved beyond a doubt. Thus this is not why ICE is picking up these folks. They are picking them up for “Unlawful Presence” which is only a Civil violation NOT a criminal violation. And its a ridiculous use of resources.
    No one is saying to open the border. The border is more secure now than it ever has been. And most reliable sources peg the flow of people from Mexico and Central America into the U.S. vs. out of the U.S. at Net Zero to even more people leaving then entering.
    Reagan and George W Bush did or tried to pass positive programs for undocumented individuals. But somewhere along the way the Republican party got hijacked on this issue by a small group of folks afraid the U.S. was losing its “whiteness”
    The biggest problem our country has is that during the Obama years a small group of white politicians in the republican party would not let house vote on a bipartisan immigration bill. It would have passed because every study shows that the U.S. needs immigrants because they help grow the economy and they help mitigate the cost of our aging population by providing working age (and thus taxpaying) individuals to supplement a declining birthrate in the U.S. As it stands now if you are an adult from Mexico you have to wait over 20 years to come in legally through a U.S. Citizen Parent, Brother or Sister because the caps on how many people can enter the U.S. via family connections has not been increased sufficiently (In 1965 it was 20,000 from each country and today it is only 25,650). Unbelievable Senator David Perdue has said he will introduce a bill cutting this number in half!
    Bottom line dismissing the plight of those merely because they are illegal ignores a long history of prosecutorial discretion in the U.S. Before 9/11 basically only those undocumented folks who committed serious crimes were deported. Then the Department of Homeland Security was created and took over immigration enforcement and the rules were changed and massive deportations went through the roof. Dalton has a large hispanic population which allowed Dalton became the Carpet Capital of the world. The carpet mills would send buses to Mexico and Central America to bring workers to fill jobs in their plants. Likewise in Gainesville has a large Hispanic population because of the history of the chicken processing.

    America’s history is about immigrants who came here to do the jobs Citizens did not want. Our economy provided a better life for them and especially for their U.S. born children. Unfortunately a small group of vocal people hide behind the “but its illegal” phrase or falsehoods that these immigrants are bad for our economy to justify the cruelty of tearing apart families or turning away refugees.

  57. 57

    B\'haven Birdie

    …”But Gillian Christensen, acting press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said, “The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis….

    …“The official said the arrests had not been impromptu and had been planned around individuals’ routines,…

    All these people are in violation of some sort of immigration law,” the official said, adding that some of their convictions included rape and aggravated assault. “We’re not going out to Walmart to check papers — we know who we are going out to seek.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/12/nyregion/immigration-arrests-sanctuary-city.html

  58. 58

    Heather

    Do you also want to mention all the brown people BPD “stops for questioning” that don’t get arrested?

  59. 59

    bldvl89

    Illegal immigration has always been a problem in this country. Ask any Indian.

  60. 60

    Dean

    Now tell us the rest of the cost story as it relates to the expense to the US as it relates to illegals.

  61. 61

    Susan

    So Mikael, you have just now found out about our laws relating to people entering and residing in our country illegally?

  62. 62

    Omar

    Fantastic post and message. Thank you for sharing.

  63. 63

    Liz

    Where was this resistance and name calling when Obama, Bush, and Clinton declared tough stances on immigration? If you come here legally and contribute to our society, we embrace that. The name calling is a weak response to those who want to enforce our nations laws and secure our citizens. If you don’t like rules and laws, this may not be the country for you. This is not a new practice here folks! Enough of this name calling, stop mocking the corrupt mainstream media propaganda machines and please come up with a thoughtful and original argument as to why someone should be allowed to break our laws. Every country has a right to protect its sovereignty. There is a UVA college kid serving 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for stealing a sign, he willfully broke their laws. I don’t agree with their extremes over there, but I can’t fault a society for enforcing laws.

  64. 64

    Heather

    Blahblah- it’s crazy but you really can’t reason with a lot of these people – especially once they reach a certain age.

    We were actually told on Halloween that we were bringing crime into the neighborhood by among other things, being very inclusive to children of color.

  65. 65

    Mike

    Heather: keep up with the meds, you’re getting frenetic.

  66. 66

    Heather

    What “name-calling”?

    “Stop mocking the corrupt mainstream media propaganda machines”

    You mean like how people near Buford Highway have recently said- including in writing- that they give out white kid and non-white kid candy?

    Because they don’t want to give “free handouts” to “illegals” and “kids on welfare”?

    This is not “mainstream media propaganda” but things people hear from their neighbors both in person and in writing.

    You can’t blame every unfortunate reality on “fake news”.

  67. 67

    Heather

    Considering the other “c word” I was called for putting a Clinton sign in my yard, I’ll consider being called crazy a step up in the world.

  68. 68

    Heather...

    Heather… you’re the reason Trump is President. Thank you!

  69. 69

    Jon

    Yes, they have rights which are being addressed . A local well respected immigration / deportation lawyer has weighed in with his professional opinion on the latest ICE activities: http://m.wsbradio.com/news/news/local/atlanta-immigration-attorney-defends-ice-roundups/ntkHM/

    http://www.immigration.net/

  70. 70

    Jon

    Yep, picked up for walking across the street or “unlawful presence” ….

    one man who was arrested in pleaded guilty to felony cocaine distribution charges.

    A Mexican national arrested in Georgia is wanted in his homeland on homicide and attempted homicide charges.

    29 of those arrested in Georgia and the Carolinas had reentered the country after being removed

    17 were fugitives who had been ordered deported by federal immigration judge

  71. 71

    Jon

    So very true, Heather and her friends are going to make him president for 8 years. It’s very sad but very true.

  72. 72

    Asha Jenkins

    What an insensitive prick

  73. 73

    Asha Jenkins

    Prick

  74. 74

    Shannon

    What’s wrong – you can’t handle something that a anti Trump immigrant rights attorney says because it doesn’t further your opinion? And you might want to increase your vocabulary.

  75. 75

    Flubber

    Jon he will be lucky to make it two years. This business with Russia will take him down. The news has gone from bad to worse on this and I wonder who Michael Flynn takes down with him. Could be trump himself.

  76. 76

    Dean

    Flubber you and CNN wish!

  77. 77

    Sovereign Citizen

    Maybe you can help me complete my list of American laws I feel should be ignored?

  78. 78

    Saul

    “Jon he will be lucky to make it two years.”

    I’m not fond of conspiracy theories but it sounds like you must have read the Watson article on Alex Jones’ site that is making the rounds. It is shocking that a certain segment of our society has become so vile and abominable with their hate and desire to dominate those with beliefs other than their own. In reality, they seem to be digging their own mass political grave.

  79. 79

    Heather

    Because I think it’s outrageous that some people give out separate white-kid and “non-white kid” Halloween candy?

    Wow.

  80. 80

    Heather

    Given Trump’s weight, the way he eats, and the odd-hour manic stress tweets– he’s probably going to give himself a heart attack.

  81. 81

    Heather

    And what about all of the innocent people that were “stopped for questioning” just for being brown?

  82. 82

    Heather

    Here you go.

    http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/georgia

    Maybe some people would be a lot happier if they went out and bought an, uh, rabbit.

  83. 83

    American

    If you don’t like American laws, leave. No one will stop you.

  84. 84

    American

    If you commit a crime in this country, you pay the price. How many of these people being sent back DID NOT commit a major crime?

  85. 85

    American

    They seem to come up with the thousands of dollars they pay to come to this country. They seem to come up with cash when they need too.

  86. 86

    American

    If you are in this country illegally then you have broken the law. It plain and simple.

  87. 87

    American

    Remember the silent majority.

  88. 88

    Heather

    “American”- you should consider reading up more on American history.

  89. 89

    American

    You are right the child is an american citizen, but if the parents are criminals. Crimes against citizens of the US (more than coming into the US illegally). The parents have a choice, take the child with them or leave the child here. If you have committed a crime you have to pay the cost.

  90. 90

    American

    EXCUSE ME? What a racist thing to say. (age)

  91. 91

    Heather

    This is actually incorrect. Brown-skinned people are being stopped, harassed and interrogated– it even happened to one of my friends that has her doctorate degree and a pretty prestigious career. She has ALWAYS been a citizen and has her doctorate degree from a top American university.

  92. 92

    May

    I agree. After a year or so, the gate was closed in my neighborhood on Halloween. Still shocked. When did so many of us lose what it means to be Americans?

  93. 94

    Heather

    I would recommend Georgia residents start with this one. . . it certainly might make some people a lot happier.

    http://www.dumblaws.com/law/1290

  94. 95

    Frank McCloskey

    Gigi,

    Thank you for your words and everything else you are doing in making our community and country a land of opportunity for all.

    The cruelty and ignorance outlined in Trump’s campaign platforms regarding immigration were numbing. The fact he is trying to implement and govern in the same matter puts all of us at risk and delegitimizes the values we say our nation and its people stand for. Additionally, his hateful and fear baiting rhetoric has negatively stereotyped and marginalized entire groups (Muslims and Mexicans as examples) irrespective if an individual, a family are U.S. citizens, legally immigrated or not. Anyone seen or perceived as the “other” is now threatened.

    I am listing many aspects (not inclusive) associated with immigration that often are misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented for various motivations. Hopefully something here will help evolve our discussion to some collaborative understanding and outcome…

    1. Undocumented immigrants do pay taxes. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cites IRS figures that 50-75% of about 12 million unauthorized U.S. Immigrants file and pay taxes.

    2. Undocumented immigrants do pay Social Security….over $100 billion over the past decade per the SSA. The 3.1 million who are doing this realize they will never collect benefits.

    3. Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. This group is not draining our social services system. Citizen children of undocumented immigrants do qualify for social benefits.

    4. The American economy needs immigrant workers. Additionally, the perception immigrants take jobs that can otherwise be filled by hard working Americans has been proven to be wrong by numerous economic and Chamber of Commerces studies.

    5. Undocumented immigrants do have legal rights and are protected by the law.

    6. Undocumented immigrants do want to become U.S. citizens, learn English and integrate into our society.

    7. Immigration does not cause crime rates to rise. Immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than native-born Americans.

    8. It is not easy to enter our country following existing immigration policies and practices. At the same time, there is a broad understanding our current immigration system is in a drastic need to be overhauled.

    Finally, an earlier comment that the Dept. of Homeland Security is basically following past ICE raid protocols is somewhat of a half truth. Trump has broadened the definition and scope of who is now being sought above and beyond “individuals who pose a threat to public safety, been charged with a crime, have multiple immigration violations, or deported and Re-entered on numerous occasions.” The practice of “collateral assets” is now being applied. As an example, the ICE may have a warrant for a specific individual. If they show up at an address and that individual is not there, rather than leaving and coming back, they are now using this as an opportunity to finger print any and all at the premise or general area. As a result, undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record are now being taken away. This is a game changer from past practices.

    Note…various resources used to provide the 8 comments.

  95. 96

    Eric Robert

    That maybe how they are doing it in New York but not down here.

  96. 97

    Megan

    Ironic how many of those so upset with the deportation of known criminals art at the city meetings screaming about not wanting to live next to apartments…..just sayin

  97. 98

    Eric Robert

    And someone with a felony cocaine distribution conviction or wanted for homicide in his homeland always would have been returned.

    As to being a fugitive after being ordered deported by a federal immigration judge, that’s not a criminal conviction, you’ve got people who were ordered removed because who have no criminal record, they are not a public safety risk and so the Judges, since at least the 1980s have been ordering deportation but not detaining people. Thus basically people could stay but they had to make sure they never got arrested for anything including driving without a license. Calling them fugitive’s is overly dramatic.

    As to re-entering the country, that’s what is messed up about the system. If you enter the country “illegally” two times or one time after being deported you are barred from adjusting status even if you married a citizen until you have been outside the country for 10 years and you are subject to jail time in a federal prison. But what are the countless fathers supporting their families supposed to do? Bring your U.S. Citizen school age children to Mexico is not an option, English is their first language and the education system is entirely different in Mexico. So of course some seek to come back at great risk. Obama had put in place a sensible system of not making those who entered the country before 2014 a priority if they weren’t a threat to public safety or had no DUI, Violent, Sexual or felony charges.

  98. 99

    Eric Robert

    For those who fall back on the “you can’t pick and choose which laws to enforce line” yes there is a certain necessary logic to that, and yes an individual doesn’t get to decide which law or rule violations he can ignore without consequences. BUT Prosecutorial Discretion is and always has been a key component of the justice system. People hire lawyers to get charges reduced or dropped. Police chiefs direct resources to capture certain rule violators more than others. And before 9/11 there was no Department of Homeland Security and ICE was run in a far different manner. The fact is since 9/11 immigration deportations have skyrocketed, no one is ignoring anything. The complaints are expending resources on knocking on doors or questioning people who aren’t White. For putting resources into deporting father’s from their families when they have no serious criminal convictions.

  99. 100

    MattW

    Heather -you are not mis-informed rather uninformed-there is a legal process for immigration-that needs to be folloowed or change the law

    You agree that you should ignore DUI laws too if you disagree with them?

  100. 101

    Heather

    Sorry that I believe in America- among other things- law-abiding, brown skinned people should not be demonized by the police force simply for having brown -colored skin.

    When are you guys going to share the number of darker skinned people that were harassed and terrorized that AREN’t criminals?

    Seriously.

    Or do you guys not track those numbers?

    Because there are literally legal POC all over the Atlanta region- and all over the country- talking about the need to always leave their homes in “nice”, expensive clothing for the fear of being harassed and detained.

  101. 102

    Heather

    My understanding of basic American principles is that the police or other legal authorities can’t drive around persecuting and harassing people based purely on the color of their skin.

  102. 103

    Megan

    The laws aren’t a secret, it is a risk to break them. Until the laws are changed anyone entering the country illegally is aware that they can be deported for simply being here. I can be ticked for driving 1 mile over the speed limit. You can be arrested for driving without a license. The likelihood of being caught or having the full extent of the penalty applied is minimal but it does exist and it is not a secret.

  103. 104

    Heather\'s exagerations

    Don’t forget about your brown shined citizen friend that was stopped for no reason. I bet you have an African American friend and an Asian one too, and your best friend is a Native American Transfender right?

  104. 105

    Thank you

    Deportation rulings and enforcement changes took place in the 90’s under Clinton. Bush and Obama both continued and the numbers are in line with last week. Nothing drastic has changed and this is so irrational. Get of your keyboards and work on changing the laws. Ranting on the internet only feeds the feeds the fear of those who probably don’t have a thing to worry about and does nothing to help solve the problem.

  105. 106

    TheTruthIsFun

    That is exactly what they are doing here. Every single person that was picked up during the raid was on a list and had previously committed a crime, they didn’t just walk down Buford Hwy and throw random people in a van. As much as this opinion piece would like to paint that picture, it’s just not the truth. You’re welcome to read more from ICE regarding this ongoing series of targeted raids that’s been happening for over 5 years here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/library/factsheets/pdf/factsheet-fugops.pdf

  106. 107

    Heather

    I guess as a law-abiding citizen that has along with my husband been unfairly and repeatedly targeted by the Brookhaven Police Department I’m more empathetic than the average angry white Brookhaven resident.

  107. 108

    Heather

    That’s interesting because they came by my house two- three times yesterday (once again) and none of us have committed any crimes.

    And I have pictures to prove it.

  108. 109

    RAJ

    As they say…don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out!

  109. 110

    Rob

    Latinos built Atlanta? Really? Get a grip. When we moved here there were only six people in the big, fat Atlanta white pages with our Latino last name. That was well before cell phones — or the large number of illegal immigrants here now. Facts, people, facts. (Oh and most of the veggies at YDFM were not grown here.)

  110. 111

    Gloria

    WOW – Heather!!! So, you’re a married woman who someone called the “c-word”, and, another white male Christian “grabbed by the p*%%y”??? Who’s a lot rabid about Trump and pissed about white folks, especially men. Happy Valentines Day anyway.

  111. 112

    Thomas Porter

    You’ve been personally targeted by the Brookhaven Police??? I have issues with many things in Brookhaven, the Police are not among them. What sort of targeting, I’m curious?

  112. 113

    Marle

    It is pretty apparent that “Heather” is Special…..

  113. 114

    Kim

    “Laws give us rights” … PSA: As we taught King George, our inalienable rights are a matter of “Natural Law,” aka endowed to us by The Creator.

  114. 115

    Kim

    I know Mr. Kuck and Mrs. Pedrazza. I would no more dismiss her opinion than his. Your reference to his opinion is welcome and any fair thinking person would seek to reconcile these opinions to each other rather than assume only one is based in truth.

  115. 116

    Kim

    bldvl89, on behalf of indigenous people everywhere and those that simply love irony, thank you.

  116. 117

    Kim

    The problem is that it is a crime to lie in these scenarios where perfectly harmless people are lying on job applications, lying to get an ID to work or drive, and lying to avoid being arrested … for lying. No one I hear is defending a gang member, a murderer, etc, from immigration action. Jumping to that conclusion about Gigi’s editorial and some of the comments here reveals only that some have completely lost the ability to listen and process information.

  117. 118

    Kim

    Top level comment to consider regarding Heather’s comments about profiling ….

    When I wanted to learn about the lives of women, I talked to women.

    When I wanted to learn about the lives of veterans, I talked to veterans.

    If you want to learn about the experience of minorities, why do you ignore their opinions?

    When you don’t listen it makes me believe you don’t want to learn.

  118. 119

    Eddie E.

    Until the builders, developers, landscapers, restauranteurs, etc. who hire the ‘illegals’ are imprisoned and their stuff is all auctioned off this article is not news!

  119. 120

    Sovereign Citizen

    Following your lead, when you break a law, why is it considered that you are doing something illegal?

    I think it’s time we develop a list of laws we do not want to obey and petition to have them eliminated. We are America! We don’t need no stink’in laws!

  120. 121

    Eddie E.

    Do you support imprisoning those who hire ‘illegals’ and stripping them of their wealth and property due to the damage their behavior does to the broad community?
    Now expand that concept to those who do business with those entities.
    Until we are willing to bear the costs of doing business in a legal and legitimate fashion, we all bear the responsibility of enticing those who will work for slave wages out of site of proper taxation.

  121. 122

    Eric Robert

    No one ever said this is the first time raids were done. And yes in the when Bush Jr. was president and initially under Obama they were deporting people who had no criminal convictions. And they are going back to that now. In the letter you provided a link to they said for the recent raids “and other enforcement priorities.” Look the way these raids work is that they go in claiming to look for somebody and then force everyone to provide identification. You are not supposed to have to do that in the U.S.A. As to who they are deporting, go downtown to the immigration court at 180 Ted Turner Drive for a Master Calendar hearing and you will see how they are now picking up people with out criminal convictions. Better yet drive 2 1/2 hours south to the privately run CCA Detention Center at 246 CCA Rd in Lumpkin GA, the 2nd or 3rd largest immigration detention facility in the US, where they have 4 judges in Courtrooms inside the jail where well under 10% of the people never get out. CCA and other for profit prisons like with criminal law are also a force advocating for unnecessary mass incarceration because its good for their bottom line. Besides the land being cheap, the detention center’s inaccessibility works well for them because it makes it difficult for the detainees to find legal representation.

  122. 123

    Eric Robert

    Well with technological advances there has been a substantive change because ICE now sees every arrest. ICE picks up people for 10 or 15 or even 20 year old convictions that in the past went unnoticed by federal authorities. But because all of these conviction records have are in the cloud and Driving Without a License is now a finger-printable offense a lot more “non-criminal” people are coming to the attention of ICE. Obama tried to fix the laws. But a small group of legislators within the republican party blocked bipartisan measures from making it to the floor. And instead of trying to reform the laws Trump spread falsehoods about immigrants for his own personal gain and is now dialing back the enforcement improvements by Obama. Obama put in place guidance to not tear apart families and in order to focus resources towards getting undocumented immigrants that posed a threat to public safety and also to secure the border. ICE is now moving towards #’s , they may get more #’s but they likely are drawing resources towards getting the people they need to remove.

  123. 124

    Eric Robert

    Trumps current wife broke the laws when she worked while here on a tourist visa. Today you get your tourist visa taken and you are deported. Back then they didn’t consider it a priority so she was able to adjust status.

  124. 125

    Heather

    Before I check out from all of this nastiness- I hope people will notice that the same people calling for personal responsibility are saying I (who allegedly has mental illness and Down’s Syndrome 🙄) am personally responsible for how other people choose to vote.

    Oooh, what a time to be alive. 🙄

  125. 126

    DresdenDog

    Are these the people who are being barbarically forced to leave. (See subject of the article) THESE ARE THE PEOPLE BEING ROUNDED UP YOU &(&(*%
    A local immigration attorney is defending the recent actions of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
    The ICE roundups are nothing new, according to Atlanta immigration attorney Charles Kuck. 
    “Everything ICE is doing right now is exactly in accordance with the law and is exactly what (President) Obama did,” Kuck said. “Obama is the deportation president. He deported virtually 3 million people during his time.”
    More than 680 unauthorized immigrants were arrested last week, including 87 in Georgia, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Monday. The nationwide operation focuses on gang members and criminals who are public threats.
    “What they believe they’re seeing is, because of the use of the word raids, is that there’s indiscriminate work by ICE and just picking up anybody they come across and that’s not happening,” Kuck said.
    Many of those who are undocumented have a legal path to stay in the United States, according to Kuck.
    “Just relax. Nobody is getting picked up today and deported tomorrow unless they have previously been ordered deported,” said Kuck. “If that’s you, you should make plans to leave on your own volition.”
    According to ICE, one man who was arrested in Atlanta pleaded guilty to felony cocaine distribution charges. A Mexican national arrested in Georgia is wanted in his homeland on homicide and attempted homicide charges.
    29 of those arrested in Georgia and the Carolinas had reentered the country after being removed. And 17 were fugitives who had been ordered deported by federal immigration judges.

  126. 127

    DresdenDog

    Which was it? 2 OR 3 times? It was an exact #. And, came by as in drove by or knocked on your door, walked around your property? Post pictures please.

  127. 128

    Eddie E.

    That particular offense should still draw a prosecution and a FAT fine.

  128. 129

    APS

    Let me just throw this fact out there…At a well known elementary school in the Brookhaven area entire self contained special education classes that require extra expenses of speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, expensive equipment, special bussing, extra staff are often 100% Latino with large numbers of known illegals in attendance. It is a fact nobody ever wants to be accused of bringing up.

  129. 130

    Eddie E.

    What would be new about that?
    During the Bush years, the services you mention were the larges line item on the Dekalb County Schools budget.
    But that has changed.

  130. 131

    Heather

    It started within the first several days of us moving into our home- a modern house-over the concern of some that we might have “rock concerts” at our home.

    (If that sounds crazy to you, yeah, you’re not alone)

    Then it quickly escalated with people saying our house brought crime into the neighborhood.

    On two separate occasions officers (once I think it might have been APD) have gone for their gun for my dog while we were standing next to him our our yard. Our dog was minding his own business and wouldn’t hurt anyone if his (or my) life depended on it but apparently a large dog is gun worthy.

    After our neighborhood association got mad at us (many of them hate our house. . . among other things). . . we were threatened that if we didn’t give various individuals money our dog would be shot or taken away by animal control–

    Our dog has never left our property ever (he has cancer and before that had four separate leg surgeries and six leg surgeries total) – he actually has a lot of health problems and always has- but we were basically told that if we didn’t pay out money he would spend his last days in animal control.

    We paid out I think around $800 for literally doing nothing and have repeatedly offered the neighborhood association our dog’s medical records from ten years including from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as well as affidavits from judges back when he was an award winning show dog (he could have gone to and placed well at Westminster if he hadn’t torn his cruciate) as well as people that knew him in a therapy dog background with both babies and people in elderly hospice.

    People know us from the dogs I’ve fostered have offered affidavits as well.

    None of this matters.

    They are bullies and come by constantly.

    Here is the dog that, based on his looks, is a danger (“he’s a pit bull on steroids)- eyeroll- if these people weren’t bullies they’d know how idiotic they sounded.
    https://flic.kr/p/RXicTZ

  131. 132

    Heather

    Can you show evidence that it’s legal to detain and deport green card holders?

    Huh.

  132. 133

    Heather

    “illegal is illegal”

    How are US residents with green cards illegal?

  133. 134

    Kim

    I will add this … Shannon: You need to find another way to dismiss Asha. Mr. Kuck is very much NOT kind to Mr. Trump. All you have to do is browse his recent public posts at: https://www.facebook.com/CKuck

    He has variously called him a liar, detached from reality and other highly complimentary things.

  134. 135

    Heather

    Ps- it is so bad people have asked us why The Brookhaven Police Department is at our house all the time and one neighbor joked (I presume they were joking): “Heather are you sure you’re not Walter White?” Uh yeah. . . no worries there- I can barely bake cookies.

  135. 136

    Kim

    Mr. Kuck’s page is public. I recommend you read it before citing him again. That is not his full view and he is learning more about what is really happening. See: https://www.facebook.com/CKuck and for example, “When Trump empowers folks who fail to exercise judgment, this happens. It’s why the PRESIDENT needs to hold his tongue.” -Charles Kuck

  136. 137

    Kim

    Jon: Those are horrendous and mostly unforgivable crimes. That represents 45-50 of the 200 rounded up in the week. Aren’t you at least curious about the rest? Why isn’t ICE talking about those other cases. I know one neighbor who was picked up, not on the list, no criminal record according to his own family (why would they lie if they are afraid of ICE coming back??), and ICE refused to comment to 11-Alive on the man’s case. I’m not here to be argumentative. I am hear to challenge the narrative that everything is hunky dory or that the end of the world is nigh. Both are misplaced views imo.

  137. 138

    Kim

    APS I can help assuage your concerns, I think. The OVERWHELMING majority of students at Woodward and Montclair (your derisive description might fit either) are here lawfully, including my son for his K-3. You should really be more careful where you direct your hatred. Friendly fire is so tragic! #DontBromideMeBro

  138. 140

    Sarge

    Bravo Serria. Read the terms associated with your green card and share it with us.

  139. 141

    Eddie E.

    The madness will only stop once those happy to see the deportations realize how much more their ‘lifestyles’ will cost when everyone involve is paid a living wage and all taxes.
    I predict a substantial change in tenor.

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