Georgia immigration enforcement board weighs hiring outside help

Georgia’s Immigration Enforcement Review Board is considering hiring a private investigator or a paralegal to help it get through a backlog of complaints, most of them filed by longtime anti-illegal immigration activist D.A. King.

Appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker, the seven-member board — which has a $20,000 annual budget — is now tracking 14 pending complaints. All but one were filed by King, president and founder of the Dustin Inman Society, a nonprofit organization the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “nativist extremist” group. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle recently filed one against Decatur’s police policies. 

IN-DEPTH: Georgia’s immigration enforcement panel draws scrutiny

Georgia legislators created the board in 2011 to help ensure state and local officials enforce immigration-related laws. The board members serve two-year terms and are not paid for their work, though they can be reimbursed for investigative-related expenses. The board is set to discuss hiring outside help at its 11 a.m. meeting Wednesday. 

“It is just really an opportunity to get some administrative support on the investigation side to help refine our process a little, get these complaints kind of moving along to the next phase and so forth,” board chairman Shawn Hanley said.

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