Eric Johnson, Gubernatorial Candidate, Georgia

I’m liking this guy.  Can we get one of these for Florida?  Saw him interviewed on Fox & Friends Weekend this morning.

What do YOU think?

Johnson rolls out immigration plan, wants schools to collect data

June 10, 2010, by Aaron Gould Sheinin

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Eric Johnson on Thursday unveiled his plan for dealing with what he termed the federal government’s failure to secure the nation’s borders against illegal immigration.

Johnson, a former state senator from Savannah, said at a Capitol news conference that he would require all public K-12 schools to require proof of citizenship of students enrolling in Georgia. He said he would also require public hospitals to do the same thing when patients arrive in emergency rooms for treatment.

While Johnson said he would not deny any student a seat in a K-12 classroom or treatment at a hospital, collecting the data is the first step toward requiring Washington to deal with the situation.

“In addition to enforcing current law, we can deter illegal immigrants from residing in Georgia by cutting off the two reasons they come here: jobs and taxpayer-funded benefits,” he said. “It has come to a point when we have to say enough is enough. It is time for the federal government to secure our borders.”

A U.S. Supreme Court case involving Texas’ plans to charge illegal immigrants tuition at public schools requires that states provide education at K-12 schools for all students who can prove residency in the district. Johnson believes that by collecting data on illegal immigrants at enrollment, the state can build a case to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling or sue the federal government to reimburse the state for the cost of educating illegal immigrants.

In addition, Johnson also said he wants to:

Make it financially attractive for local law enforcement to use the federal 287(g) and Secure Communities programs to check immigration status of prisoners. The current federal program pays local officials a per diem of more than $20 per day to house prisoners who are illegal immigrants. Johnson said he would increase that per diem to make it more attractive. Only a handful of Georgia counties now participate in the program.

Require all state law enforcement agencies to participate in the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs.

Require the Board of Regents and Technical College System of Georgia to verify citizenship of any student attempting to enroll in a public college. Johnson said illegal immigrants should not be allowed to attend a public college or university.

Hold companies responsible if they repeatedly hire illegal immigrants.

“As governor, I will enforce the law in Georgia,” he said. “I will protect taxpayers. I will hold the federal government accountable for its incompetence.”