Do legislators want to deny Kia automakers and soldiers the right to drive in Georgia, too?

The Georgia legislature’s love with anti-immigrant legislation is taking a new twist.  Apparently politics has made it very advantageous to scapegoat poor immigrants for political gain, however, recent proposed legislation that is steadily moving towards enactment may backfire as now they’re potentially attacking foreign investors and U.S. citizens.

SB 67, co-sponsored by Georgia Senators Murphy (27), Pearson (51), Mullis (53) and Chip Rogers (21) (note: Sen. Rogers has been the lead sponsor on most anti-immigrant legislation in Georgia) would require that the Georgia drivers’ license examination only be administered in the English language (I’m guessing that’s standard American English and not Southern American, y’all).

Please remember, Georgia does NOT grant drivers’ licenses to unauthorized immigrants.  So who is this legislation aimed at targeting?  What research provides for the basis of deciding that it is better for Georgia residents with limited English proficiency to drive on our roads without a license?

Think about who may be impacted by this proposed law.

Will Kia executives be prohibited from driving the very cars they produce on Georgia roads?
Will Kia executives be prohibited from driving the very cars they produce on Georgia roads?

Imagine a Kia executive.  The State of Georgia has thrown out the red carpet and billions of dollars to welcome this foreign automaker to my home community of Troup County.  Are we telling Mr. and Ms. Kia executive that you may build cars in our community but not drive one?

Pedro Muñoz, a fallen soldier from Puerto Rico, wanted to be like his father, a Korean War veteran. Muñoz died serving the U.S. military, will other Puerto Rican soldiers based in Georgia be denied a dirvers' license because of limited English proficiency?
Pedro Muñoz, a fallen soldier from Puerto Rico, wanted to be like his father, a Korean War veteran. Muñoz died serving the U.S. military, will other Puerto Rican soldiers based in Georgia be denied a dirvers' license because of limited English proficiency?

Imagine the recent influx of Puerto Ricans who join our military and serve at a Georgia installation.  They are U.S. citizens from birth but may have limited English proficiency.  Are we telling these soldiers from Puerto Rico, who disproportionately serve in our military and who have seen dozens of their sons and daughters killed in Iraq, “bienvenidos, drive our tanks in defense of our country but don’t drive your personal vehicles on the holy ground of Georgia’s roads?” 

Senator Chip Rogers and company, please discontinue down the racist trail your predecessors blazed with hateful legislation.  Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged this state and nation to repent of the sins of racism; will you heed his call or continue to make evident via legislation what once was relegated as hidden behind white sheets and burning crosses?

For more on SB 67 click here.

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