For the past few weeks, state Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, has been defending several bills that he hopes will collectively reduce the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia. Immigration advocates repeatedly have criticized Rogers' initiatives, which include fines for employers who hire illegal workers and a restriction on social services available to illegal residents. The criticism seems to be nagging the senator; below are some of his attempts to defend his "mean-spirited" behavior.
"It is not mean-spirited to say [illegal immigrants] are not eligible [for social services]. We have limited resources and our job is to see who gets them."
-- Sen. Chip Rogers, quoted Jan. 17 in the Rome News-Tribune
"I've been told I'm mean-spirited because I want to enforce laws against illegal immigrants. There's been some kind of implication that because I'm working on [these] bills, I'm somehow anti-immigration. It's just not true."
Rogers, quoted Jan. 18 in the Marietta Daily Journal
"Part of my job is to figure out how to spend the limited money we have. People have called me mean-spirited because of my proposals. [Senate Bill 170] says if you're a legal Georgia resident, prove it. I don't think that's controversial, but apparently it is."
Rogers, speaking Jan. 31 at a DeKalb County forum on immigration