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  • 01/26/2012 5:46 PM
    Message # 808184

    Dear Educators and Advocates:

    House Bill 59 – would prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending ANY institution of higher education (all colleges and universities) in the University System of Georgia (USG), regardless of their academic qualifications.

    In 2011, this same bill passed out of the House of Representatives Higher Education Committee but did not come up for vote in the full House. The bill was reintroduced in the House this year and is currently being reviewed by the Higher Education Committee, who are expected to vote on it next Tuesday, January 31st. Therefore, it is URGENT that we contact the members of this committee and plead with them to oppose the HB 59 NOW.

    Last year, the committee vote went straight down party lines: Democrats voted against it; Republicans voted for it. However, here seemed to be a general lack of information in the committee. Moreover, most Democrats were fairly passive in the hearing, not asking many questions or aggressively challenging the bill’s supporters.


    1) Contact all members of the Higher Ed Committee and URGE THEM TO VOTE NO on HB 59. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls are most effective. Emails are also good. If one of the committee members happens to be your Rep, target him/her. **Contact info below.

    Provide Democrats, who are more likely to oppose HB 59, with support, encouragement, and talking points. This is ESPECIALLY important if one of the members is your Rep; He or she can then have the satisfaction of acting on behalf of his/her constituents.

    Let the Republican Reps know that you adamantly oppose HB 59. Give them the reasons you oppose the bill (use Talking Points below if needed). Urge them to vote NO.  If you don’t have time to contact all members, target these:  Carl Rogers (Chairman of the Committee); Amy Carter (Secretary and an educator); Katie Dempsey (Vice Chair); David Knight; Tony McBrayer; and Chuck Sims.

    Talking Points (please adapt, using your own words, or use your own):

    • 1.      All of society is advanced when its residents are educated. Always.
    • 2.      The educated are MUCH less likely to commit crimes.  (98% of inmates do not have a college education according to the GA Dept. of Corrections.) Therefore, Georgia is safer with an educated population.
    • 3.      Georgia citizens do NOT subsidize the cost of higher ed for undocumented immigrants, who are required by Board of Regents (BOR) policy to pay out-of-state tuition (3-4 times the cost of in-state tuition). In fact, colleges and universities make a profit on undocumented students.
    • 4.      The BOR has already implemented policy that prohibit undocumented students from attending the five schools in the USG which at times deny admissions to academically qualified students (University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia College & State University and the Medical College of Georgia). This effectively ensures that no undocumented student can take a seat from a legal resident.
    • 5.      Undocumented children immigrated involuntarily to the United States and are blameless for their status. These are children who have faced challenges most of us can’t even image. They have worked hard to adapt and assimilate to our culture and to learn our language. It is un-American and unethical to deny them the right to continue their education.
    • 6.      Banning access to education is a violation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights - "Higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit."

    2) Attend the ACLU of Georgia “By the People” Immigrants’ Rights Lobby Day on Tuesday 1/31 at 9:00 am at the Capitol.  (Flyer attached)


    3) Attend the House Higher Education Committee Hearing on HB 59, which is currently scheduled for Tuesday, 1/31 at 3:00 pm at the Capitol.  (Room number TBA.) You may sign up to give testimony at this hearing when you arrive.


    Let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your action!

    Tonna Harris-Bosselmann



    **House of Representatives Higher Education Committee Members

    Rogers, Carl - Chairman
    R - Gainesville
    District 26
    Occupation - Insurance Agent
    404.656.5146 – Office (Capitol); 770.535.0994 (Gainesville)
    Dempsey, Katie M. - Vice Chairman
    R - Rome
    District 13
    Occupation - Volunteer
    404.656.0213 - Office
    Carter, Amy - Secretary
    R - Valdosta
    District 175
    Occupation - Teacher
    404.651.7737 – Office (Capitol); 229.245.2733 (Valdosta)
    Allison, Stephen - Member
    R - Blairsville
    District 8
    Occupation - Attorney
    404.656.0188 – Office (Capitol); 706.781.3929 (Blairsville)
    Amerson, Amos - Member
    R - Dahlonega
    District 9
    Occupation - Retired; Army Lt. Col.; University Professor
    404.657.8443 - Office
    Ashe, Kathy - Member
    D - Atlanta
    District 56
    Occupation - Community Volunteer
    404.656.0116 – Office (Capitol); 404.875.9467 – Office (Atlanta)
    Ehrhart, Earl – Member
    R - Powder Springs
    District 36
    Occupation - Businessman
    404.463.2247 – Office (Capitol); 770.437.7536 – Office (Powder Springs)

    Fullerton, Carol - Member
    D - Albany
    District 151
    Occupation - Consultant
    404.656.0127 - Office
    Gardner, Pat - Member
    D - Atlanta
    District 57
    Occupation - Association Executive
    404.656.0265 - Office
    Harden, Michael - Member
    R - Toccoa
    Occupation - Business Owner
    District 28
    404.656.0188 - Office
    Hatfield, Mark - Member
    R - Waycross
    District 177
    Occupation - Attorney
    404.656.0109 – Office (Capitol); 912.283.3820 (Waycross)
    Hembree, Bill - Member
    R - Winston
    District 67
    Occupation - Insurance Agent
    404.656.6801 - Office
    Knight, David - Member
    R - Griffin
    District 126
    Occupation - Certified Public Accountant
    404.656.7855 – Office (Capitol); 678.464.4926 (Griffin)
    Long, Ralph - Member
    D - Atlanta
    District 61
    Occupation - Real Estate Broker
    404.656.0325 - Office
    McBrayer, Tony - Member
    R - Tifton
    District 153
    Occupation - Small Business Owner
    404.656.0126 - Office
    Murphy, Quincy - Member
    D - Augusta
    District 120
    Occupation - Insurance and Financial Services
    404.656.0265 – Office (Capitol); 706.790.4600 (Augusta)
    Sims, Chuck - Member
    R - Ambrose
    District 169
    Occupation - Funeral Director
    404.656.7855 – Office (Capitol); 912.384.1234 (Ambrose)
    Smyre, Calvin - Member
    D - Columbus
    District 132
    Occupation - Banker
    404.656.0116 – Office (Capitol); 706.649.2243 (Columbus)
    Watson, Ben - Member
    R - Savannah
    District 163
    Occupation - Medical Doctor
    404.656.0109 - Office
    Williams, Chuck - Member
    R - Watkinsville
    District 113
    Occupation - Tree Farmer
    404.656.0254 - Office
     HB59 TEXT -
    HB59 authors: (1) 
    Rice, Tom 51st(2) Harrell, Brett 106th(3) Walker, Len 107th
     (4) Ehrhart, Earl 36th(5) 
    Bearden, Timothy 68th(6) Ramsey, Matt 72nd

    Link to House Higher Ed Committee:





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