Georgia senator: Ban driver’s licenses for some immigrants

Georgia’s Republican-controlled Legislature is about to jump back into the hot button debate over banning driver’s licenses for immigrants who have been granted a humanitarian reprieve from deportation.

Republican State Sen. Joshua McKoon of Columbus on Monday filed Senate Bill 6, which would block state licenses for people who have received work permits and deportation deferrals through the federal deferred action program.

McKoon described his legislation as a preemptive strike now that President Barack Obama is reportedly preparing to expand the deferred action program. Obama has pledged to act unilaterally by the end of this year now that immigration overhaul legislation remains stalled in Congress.

“The president seems poised to incredibly enlarge the population that we are talking about,” McKoon said. “I think that is going to change the tenor of the debate quite a bit.”

Similar legislation died on a bipartisan vote in the state Senate during this year’s legislation session. Critics said Senate Bill 404 would have punished children for the choices their parents made and blocked them from working and contributing to the state’s economy. Supporters spoke about upholding the nation’s legal immigration system. On Monday, McKoon cited road safety, “voter integrity” and security issues.

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