ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Probate Court honored three of its clerks for their state certifications this week.
A process that began with former Probate Judge Anita Mullins, these employees have served for years in the court system and have completed training programs within the system under Judge Scott Chastain.
The three girls recognize are Jana Grno, Tracy Teague, and Lyndsay Hightower. Chastain says that recognition is given for 30 hours and 60 hours of training for the program, but he wanted to do something special as each of these girls now have 90 hours, the final stage of the program and actual certification.
Jana Grno will have been with the Gilmer Probate for five years next week on April 21. Focusing on the vital records and weapons permits now, Chastain says there is very little she cannot do in the Probate Court as she also assists in traffic court. She is also the longest running employee in the Probate Office in Gilmer County.
Tracy Teague will reach her 5 years with the Probate Court this September. Chastain calls Teague a “lifesaver” as he transitioned in the office. He says she was and is constantly there every time he calls for anything the office needs.
Teague has recently been announced as Judge Chastain’s Chief Clerk. Teague had already served as Chief Clerk under Judge Mullins and continues this service now that Chastain has asked her as well. She handles much of the requirements in traffic court, and Chastain says he uses her as Chief Clerk for certain administration needs when he is out of the office.
Lyndsay Hightower was hired into the Probate Court on August 30, 2016. She serves in the front window of the Probate Office, she is the main probate clerk of the office according to Chastain. He noted that he has basically asked her to take on the work of two clerks and she continues to work hard under the stress. With previous experience in law enforcement, he says Hightower brings a different view to the office alongside her coworkers.
Mullins was also present at the celebration for her former employees. She offered a few words on the occasion as she stated, “They worked so hard for me. They were such a blessing because I was going through, at the end, a lot of family issues with my parents. If it hadn’t have been for these girls, I don’t know what I would have done. They are so smart, and they are so capable. I know that they are going to continue on and do great things.”
Both Mullins and Chastain made comments about how little the public gets to see just how much work goes on in the office behind the public sight. Accomplishing the vast amount of work necessary for the office to operate efficiently is next to impossible without the proper staff.
Chastain went on to say that with two other employees in the office, he hopes to become one of the few Probate Offices in the state of Georgia with every clerk state certified in the coming years.
Senator David Perdue Discusses Immigration Latest On Fox News & ABC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) spoke with Trish Regan on Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures and George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week about recent meetings at the White House to fix the legal immigration system.
Highlights from Sunday Morning Futures
Negotiating A Deal: “The President has been very clear that any solution to DACA must include border security, including the wall, an end to chain migration, and an end to the visa lottery. Last week, we had two meetings at the White House. President Trump is very engaged on this issue, just like he was on tax. I’m hopeful we can get symmetry in this negotiation. In my business experience, that’s how you get to a deal and I still think there is a possibility to do that.”
Double Talk From Democrats: “It’s a gross distraction from the issue. Senators Schumer and Durbin both talked about ending parts of chain migration on the Senate floor. We’re doing things that the Democrats have voted for and have supported in the past. Under Bill Clinton in the 90s, we had a Presidential Commission actually recommend limiting chain migration and recommend moving to a merit-based immigration system based on who you are and not where you are from. The problem now is politics. That’s what’s so frustrating to all of us.”
Focusing The Scope: “Congress has failed three times in the last 11 years to fix the immigration system because they’ve been too comprehensive and tried to solve the legal problem, the temporary work visa problem, and the illegal immigration problem at the same time. What we’re doing now is limiting this debate to just the legal immigration system and I believe we can get to a solution.”
President’s Agenda Is Working: “If this were any other president getting the results that we’re getting right now in the economy, we would be crowing about the results. Two million new jobs created last year, 860 rules and regulations pulled back, 500 bureaucrats fired at the VA for non-performance, 300 fired in the Department of Education, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high, CEO confidence is at a 20-year high, 123 companies decided to give year-end bonuses because of our action on tax. This economy is beginning to move and what we have to do now is focus on immigration, infrastructure, and trade to keep moving the economy forward.”
Responding To Hawaii: “I don’t know the details of that yet, but it just heightens the fact that somebody made a mistake somewhere. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I can assure you that we’ll get to the bottom of that.”
Highlights from This Week
Solving DACA: “The problem is Washington career politicians who just want to pander to their base. What we have right now is a gross misrepresentation of a meeting from Thursday. Two days earlier, the President held an hour-long open meeting with the media where Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate debated the issue. We want to solve the DACA problem. We want border security with a wall. We want to end chain migration and the visa lottery. That’s the scope we all agreed on Tuesday.”
Record Of Misrepresenting: “In 2013, Senator Durbin made the same allegation against a Republican leader in a meeting with President Obama, saying he chewed out the president and that this Republican leader was so disrespectful to President Obama they couldn’t even have the meeting. That’s what he said that in 2013. Later that day, President Obama’s own press secretary came out and said, ‘it did not happen.’ This is about a gross misrepresentation, and it’s not the first time.”
Current Negotiation Parameters: “We’re focusing on four things. The President has been consistent all along about what he wants in an immigration deal. I have been consistent. Senator Cotton has been consistent. Any deal on DACA has to include border security, including a wall, and the end to chain migration. That’s been consistent for the past year.”
Senator David Perdue Discusses Fixing Legal Immigration System On Fox News
“The January 19 deadline to fund the government and the March 5 DACA deadline are two totally separate issues”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) spoke with Brian Kilmeade on Fox News’ Fox & Friends about yesterday’s bipartisan meeting at the White House to fix the legal immigration system.
Goals Established: “This President is an outsider. He is a business guy. He wants to get results on this issue just like he did on tax. What we did yesterday is agree on two things. One, we agreed on the scope of this current negotiation. We are not trying to solve all of our immigration problems here. What we want to do is solve the DACA issue, address border security, eliminate chain migration, and end the archaic visa lottery program. The second thing the President did yesterday was establish a sense of urgency. That is something rare in Washington.”
Differentiating Deadlines: “The January 19 deadline to fund the government, and the March 5 DACA deadline are two totally separate issues. I heard members on the other side talk about that after the meeting. January 19 is about funding the government, and that is another conversation entirely.”
Broad Support: “72% of Americans believe immigration should be focused on the worker and the immediate family. Name another idea or another issue here in Washington that 70% of Americans agree on. This is one issue where the American people are going to hold us accountable.”
Sense Of Urgency: “We are still working against a hard deadline of March 5. That’s how you bring a sense of urgency and get things done in Congress. President Trump said yesterday that he expects results on this issue. He is willing to work with us day and night. I think that was evident yesterday from the conversation we had in the White House.”
Focused Negotiations: “I give the President high marks for bringing a focus to this issue and not trying to solve every problem related to immigration but instead, focus right now on the legal immigration system.”
Senator David Perdue: President Trump Driving Consensus To Fix Our Legal Immigration System
“My personal focus continues to be on how we eliminate chain migration, which is a fundamental flaw in our current immigration policy”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) made the following comments after the White House meeting on immigration today:
“President Trump, being an outsider and business guy, is driving consensus between Republicans and Democrats to fix our legal immigration system. Today’s White House meeting was to define the scope of this negotiation to include four items: solving the DACA situation, addressing border security, ending chain migration, and eliminating the outdated visa lottery. President Trump is trying to instill a sense of urgency to get something done on immigration, but this topic should not be part of funding the federal government. My personal focus continues to be on how we eliminate chain migration, which is a fundamental flaw in our current immigration policy. If any conversation about DACA is being held without that consideration, it is not going to go anywhere in the United States Senate. The first thing a DACA recipient will do if given permanent status is use chain migration laws to sponsor those who violated the law originally. Ending chain migration and eliminating the outdated visa lottery program is in our national security and economic interest. President Trump has done a great job making sure this remains a top priority in any immigration discussion.”
By Jeff Jones
Most thinking Georgians will no doubt agree that only illegal aliens require classification as “deferred action on deportation” or who may be under deportation orders from the federal government.
Most Georgians will be surprised to learn that Georgia’s Department of Drivers Services (DDS), the agency responsible for our driving and ID credentials, has issued, renewed or replaced more than 50,000 driver’s licenses and/or official state ID Cards to illegal aliens. These illegal aliens have either “deferred action on deportation” proceedings or are already under federal deportation orders. And that issuance of these official state documents is perfectly legal under current federal and state law.
Surprisingly, the 2005 federal REAL ID Act, passed after the horror of 9/11 says that states can optionally issue drivers licenses to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” and that the feds will allow this ID to be used to board airliners. The law says that “deferred action” is “evidence of lawful status” for federal acceptance of driver’s licenses as an official ID. The REAL ID Act guidelines from the feds are merely minimum requirements and standards for federal recognition – not legal requirements.
Georgia state law currently also allows “deferred action” illegals to get an official Georgia driver’s license and ID card. Surprisingly, but factually, Georgia has more illegals than Arizona.
In 2012 the Associated Press ran a news article headlined “Some illegal immigrants can get Georgia drivers licenses” explaining Georgia’s California-like situation. But, if you call your local DDS office, you will be told in – no uncertain terms – that “Georgia does not issue drivers licenses or ID Cards to illegal or undocumented immigrants.” Confusing, isn’t it? Many Georgia legislators think DDS should try harder to explain this scenario and how it is that DDS is issuing driver’s licenses to illegals.
Again, federal law does not say we must issue drivers licenses and ID cards to deferred action illegals. Instead, each state has the right to decide to whom it issues drivers licenses or ID Cards. And, importantly, Georgia officials also have the right to decide on the physical appearance of these credentials.
This brings me to the fact that the drivers licenses and ID Cards Georgia’s DDS gives to illegal aliens with “deferred action on deportation” are exactly like the ones we issue to legal immigrants, student visa holders and guest workers such as Mercedes Benz and KIA executives here from Germany and Korea, all who entered the United States legally.
This policy can and must be changed.
Georgia has the choice to issue a driver’s license to those with deferred action that will still allow them to drive, but that does not fit the federal requirements to be used as “ID for federal purposes” – like boarding an airliner or entering a federal building. And we can – and I firmly believe we must – change the appearance of these credentials so that no one will mistake the holder for a legal immigrant or a legitimate guest worker here on a legal temporary visa.
Currently at least two states, California and Michigan, issue multiple tiers of drivers licenses. The lower tiers are not recognized as federally approved ID and cannot be used as such. But the bearer can still drive.
I would use Mexico as another example here but Mexico does not allow any illegal aliens to obtain any type of driver’s license.
Georgia already issues a distinctly different driver’s license to young Americans that is vertically oriented and clearly marked “under 21.”
Realizing the United States is not going to be as strict as Mexico, Georgia should issue a vertically oriented ID, like we do for young drivers, to illegals with “deferred action on deportation” or who have been ordered deported, despite that the feds say we are not required to do so.
My bill, HB 484, pending in the Georgia Gold Dome requires DDS to end its current practice and to replace the driving and ID credentials now issued to illegal aliens with a vertically oriented, brightly colored card. This new ID card is designed to make it unmistakably and visually clear that the bearer is not a legal immigrant and that the ID is not acceptable for federal ID purposes. It would look something like the mock up pictured here.
Georgians will also be surprised to learn that many state legislators are not well educated on this topic. Because I introduced this measure late in the 2017 session, it has not had a committee hearing and is in need of legislative co-sponsors. Readers who agree this idea adds some sanity to our driver’s license and ID Card integrity should ask their House member to sign on as co-sponsors and support my bill, HB 484. This is vitally important for the State of Georgia.
Jeff Jones (R) D167, is a second term Georgia State Representative. He can be contacted at: [email protected]; (404) 565-0177
BKP talks “Obama’s Presidential Campaign” for Hillary and the Court Plea of “Clinton Conspirators.”