Mark Zuckerberg’s group of West Coast investors is lobbying the GOP to keep illegal cheap labor flowing into Georgia.
The group’s political progress was spotlighted Tuesday, August 6, when a state GOP politician urged state officials to ignore the huge population of illegal migrant workers and renters in the state, according to a report in the Georgia Recorder:
Speaking at a lunch at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, state Sen. Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) touted the diverse makeup of the 54th District he represents. Payne estimated his district is 42% Latino. He said many of the Latinos living in the district immigrated 25 years ago and “simply want a better life not only for themselves, but for their children and their grandchildren.”
“The people that I represent are honest, they’re hard-working, seeking to realize the American dream,” said Payne.
Payne opposed state legislation that would have forced Georgia residents who are not American citizens to obtain driver’s licenses clearly stating that they are not citizens. The measure died in committee in part due to Payne’s vote against it.
Zuckerberg’s FWD.us lobbying group quickly endorsed Payne’s praise of cheap illegal labor:
Immigrants continuously serve as the foundation of our nation’s growth & success. Thank you @Chuck_Payne for supporting @FWDus Georgia office's two-year anniversary & recognizing the power that comes when immigrants are seen, heard, and able to contribute. https://t.co/YAXkg6V17E
— FWD.us (@FWDus) August 7, 2019
FWD.us was created by West Coast billionaire investors — including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — to preserve the annual inflow of roughly one million new legal immigrants. Investors value the migrants because they reduce the cost of workers and raise overall spending on housing, products, and services such as food delivery.
For example, the group is urging the Senate to pass the S.386 legislation, which would provide roughly 100,000 green cards to Indian graduates (and their families) who take white-collar jobs in the United States at low wages for long hours and are treatedpoorly. FWD.us has also lobbied for cheap labor in New York and Colorado, as well as in universities.
Payne lauded FWD.us’s hardline approach against enforcement, according to the Georgia Recorder: “The senator described his work with the group as “a moral imperative and a political obligation to my constituents and the health of our country and economy.”
Payne’s statement was also lauded by FWD.us’s lobbyist in Georgia, Sam Aguilar:
We’re proud to help drive smart immigration policy changes in Georgia that make our streets safer, encourage entrepreneurship, and contribute to sustained economic growth across our state. This year, we’re deepening our commitment to bipartisanship by working across party lines in support of access to higher education, and by working with a strong business coalition to identify – and stop – anti-immigrant bills before they hurt Georgia’s economy and our families.
Aguilar described the illegal migrants as Georgians, calling for an amnesty and continued high levels of legal immigration:
All Georgians deserve a government that treats immigrants with respect and dignity, and acknowledges their many financial contributions to our state’s economy and communities. Our long term goal is commonsense immigration reform that implements smart border security, protects and expands existing legal immigration avenues, and provides an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented people. Expanding our work at the state level will help us to better achieve comprehensive reform, and we believe these policy goals will strengthen Georgia as we continue to demand the immigration changes our country needs.
Before working for FWD.us, the Mexico-born Aguilar worked as a lobbyist for Galeo, an ethnic advocacy group that opposes state-level measures against illegal immigrants, such as state and local participation in the federal 287(g) program.
ICYMI: Last week, Georgia State Senator Chuck Payne joined renowned Atlanta artist @yehimicambron for a discussion of state and federal immigration legislation.
— FWD.us (@FWDus) August 14, 2019
On August 7, D.A. King, who lobbies for enforcement of state immigration laws, shared FWD.us’s tweeted endorsement of Payne, adding the comment, “This guy is w/o doubt the dimmest bulb in the legislature.”
In response, another FWD.us lobbyist, Jaime Rangel, tweeted a message to King saying, “Stay classy prick.”
Rangel is an illegal immigrant. He got a work permit from President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) administrative amnesty. In May 2019, while working for FWD.us, Rangel wrote:
Recently, I joined the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and legislative and community leaders to review the recent state legislative session and strategize for the next. The event included both Republican and Democratic state representatives and members of the media and public. Together, we discussed how we might pass legislation that will grow our economy and revitalize our rural regions. Many of us shared the understanding that immigrants, especially Dreamers, are essential to our state’s success.
I used my spot at the table to suggest two legislative proposals that will increase Dreamers’ participation in the workforce and ensure they continue to contribute to our success. First, state lawmakers should pass a law allowing Dreamers who grew up in Georgia to pay in-state tuition at our public schools
Second, lawmakers should not support legislation that will put Dreamers’ driver’s licenses at risk …
Payne declined to respond to questions from Breitbart News. Todd Schulte, the director of FWD.us, also declined to answer questions.
The tacit alliance of business groups, ethnic lobbies, and Democrat politicians is also spotlighted by the debate over Georgia’s role in the 287(g) program, which allows state police to notify federal deportation agencies when illegals are arrested for local offenses.
The state’s Department of Public Safety is required by a 2011 state law to train officers in the 287(g) each year, but it is not on the federal list of trained agencies. Six other law enforcement agencies in Georgia are on the list, including Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
In July, Latino groups tried to exclude King from a public debate over the 287(g) program, which promotes cooperation between federal deportation agents and local police. Galeo opposes the 287(g) enforcement program.
Marlene Fosque, a new commissioner in Gwinnett County, asked for the public event. The Gwinnett Daily Post reported July 31:
“Our sheriff’s department has participated in the 287(g) program for about 10 years, yet no one has brought the two sides together to decide what are the benefits of 287(g) and decide what is the impact,” Fosque said. “I’m a newly elected commissioner, so I’m trying to do new things. I pray at the end of this discussion, (attendees) walk away with a different perspective, or at least a new perspective.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explained on July 31 why King was invited to the public meeting:
Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Shannon Volkodav said King was invited because he is a “long-standing supporter of the 287(g) program” and knowledgeable about immigration issues.
“We simply came to share our perspective, which was the purpose of tonight’s event,” Volkodav said. “It’s very disappointing that as many as three groups who were supposed to be here tonight chose not to come and simply share their perspective because they didn’t like one panelist.”
Gwinnett is one of the most diverse communities in the Southeast. About a quarter of its residents are foreign-born, and the county is estimated to be home to around 70,000 immigrants who are in the country without permission.
Only a small number of pro-migration activists appeared at the event, but their message was amplified by the state’s newspapers.
The effort to sideline King was also embraced by state media outlets, which downplayed the role of cheap labor, portrayed the debate as racist, touted “hate” claims pushed by the pro-migration Southern Poverty Law Center, and also portrayed King as a divisive troublemaker.
Sheriff’s panelist choice adds tension to Gwinnett immigration event https://t.co/QoarMIiAlK
— tyler, the reporter (@ByTylerEstep) August 1, 2019
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s reporter described King as a “controversial activist,” the headline said he “adds tension to gathering,” and the text claimed his opening statement “riled up” the debate’s attendees:
King is a self-described “proud American nationalist” and president of the Marietta-based Dustin Inman Society, which is named for a Woodstock teenager who died in a car crash with an undocumented immigrant in 2000.
The left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center has dubbed the Dustin Inman Society an anti-immigrant hate group.
“By choosing D.A. King as its official spokesperson, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office has blatantly shown that it operates on a platform of racism and complete disregard of any immigrant rights,” an Asian Americans Advancing Justice wrote in a news release.
But the report also ignored King’s comments and the role of immigration in suppressing companies’ payroll costs and boosting companies’ sales.
An August 8 report by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that 1.4 million working-age Georgians were not in the workforce. That is a five-point drop from 79.3 percent in 2000 to just 74.3 percent in 2019, the report shows. Amid the government-provided labor surplus, the average wage in the large Gwinnett County rose less than one percent — after counting inflation — from late 2017 to late 2018, according to federal data. Moreover, the inflow also provided the state’s real estate industry with a six percent rise in housing price in the year up to mid-2019, according to Zillow.
The state’s second-largest newspaper, the Gwinnett Daily Post, began its July 31 report on the meeting by spotlighting an advocate’s claim of organized racism:
“You’re a white supremacist!” one woman shouted from the back left side of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center auditorium.
With businesswoman Andrea Rivera, District 99 State Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero and local attorney Antonio Molina on the anti-287(g) side and Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Shannon Volkodav, ICE Southern Region Communications Director Bryan Cox and D.A. King, president of the Dustin Inman Society, which pushes for tougher immigration laws but has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group, on the pro-287(g) side, the discussion ranged from quotations of bible verses to racial profiling to what ICE’s presence in Gwinnett will be if 287(g) goes away.
King rejected his critics’ claims that he is anti-immigrant and anti-immigration and noted he has pushed for enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws for more than a decade. His group, the Dustin Inman Society, is named after a youth who was killed by an illegal immigrant driver in 2000.
The need to enforce immigration laws and to repatriate migrants to their homes is made apparent every week, King told Breitbart News. On July 10, for example, the Marietta Daily Journal reported two crimes allegedly committed by Guatemalan migrants:
A young girl was followed and molested outside her Marietta house on July 4 after watching fireworks at Ron Francis Park with her family, police say.
The 12-year-old has spoken publicly about the ordeal, telling media her attacker repeatedly tried to grab and kiss her until her 10-year-old brother scared the man off.
On July 3, police arrested 17-year-old Baudilio Salomon Diaz Ambrocio, who faces three felony charges of rape, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sexual battery in relation to an incident at his Hedges Street home around 5 p.m. on July 1.
Police say the teen raped and molested a 7-year-old girl, who then needed surgery.
One of King’s priorities is the passage of a law that would require officials to publish routine reports about the number of illegals being held in Georgia jails who are eligible for repatriation, often via the 287(g) program. Without a legal requirement, “that will never, ever be allowed out … [because] it creates a definite, irrefutable, permanent official record” that can be used to weaken corporate and political opposition to enforcement, he said.
The state’s newspapers do not want to publish the information, partly because they are sympathetic to the Latino lobbies and the business groups, King added.
The population of illegals in Georgia is somewhere near 400,000, and the growing number of legal Latinos is weakening the GOP’s share of the vote and giving Democrats more confidence to reject GOP proposals, he said. “We are speeding to become the east coast version of California, ‘Georgiafornia’ — [and] Gwinnett [County] is a harbinger of the state in 10 years,” he said.
The GOP establishment is tied to business groups, and it does not want to fight for Georgians against cheap illegal labor, or even protect the GOP’s majority, he said. The GOP passivity allows the pro-migration and cheap-labor groups to focus their energy on blocking King’s advocacy for enforcement, he said. “I am the target,” he said.
However, GOP voters actively want enforcement and will push back against GOP leaders — including Payne — who reveal their unwillingness to oppose the accelerating decline of GOP support in the state, he said. “Him siding up with FWD.us and saying there’s nothing for the state to do about immigration, [ensures] he is being hammered on the Dalton Facebook page where he lives,” King said.
Payne is likely to face at least one primary challenger, said King, so “he is depending on the [donation] money from FWD.us to overcome the public objections to illegal immigration in a state with more illegal immigrants than green card holders.”