Johnny Isakson on ‘dream kids’ and Congress: ‘It’s time we start doing something’

Immigrants and supporters rally and march in Los Angeles, in opposition to President Donald Trump’s order to end DACA on Tuesday. David McNew/Getty Images

We wrote yesterday about the diction employed by Georgia’s members of Congress as they responded to President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections for illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.

While the state’s Democrats, we pointed out, focused on the human side of the debate. About 800,000 young adults are affected. Republicans spoke almost exclusively of law and order, questioning the constitutionality of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program enacted by President Barack Obama in 2012.

Shortly after we published that observation, we got an email from U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office that broke the mold:

“Children who received status under President Obama’s deferred action executive order should not be punished for their parents’ choices. Congress should protect these young people while also working toward stronger measures to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws going forward.”

Missing from that statement, you may notice, is any mention of the president. When we caught up with Isakson later on Tuesday afternoon, he offered no criticism of the president.

“DACA was in place because of an executive order. The new executive has decided to rescind the application of DACA for the future and left it to Congress,” he said.

As for Congress, Isakson said, “It’s time we start doing something.” That includes grandfathering the current DACA kids into the system and sorting out a system for future children in similar situations, he said.

***

David Perdue, Isakson’s colleague in the U.S. Senate, meanwhile, was looking in a different direction. The Republican backed Trump’s decision to end DACA. He also suggested that the president’s challenge to Congress to come up with legislation replacing DACA as an opening for his own bill that would cut legal immigration by half.

“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past with a comprehensive immigration bill that does not work,” he said. “The RAISE Act’s changes to our legal immigration system should be part of the solution.”

***

One way the Donald Trump era has changed politics is at the corporate level, with top executives more willing to call out the president. Brad Smith, top dog at Microsoft, says his company will “vigorously defend” 39 dreamers employed at Microsoft if Congress fails to implement by law the protections from deportation that Trump ended on Tuesday. “In short, if dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side,” Smith told the Washington Post on Tuesday.

***

Valdosta to Florida evacuees: Keep moving. On Tuesday afternoon, the emergency management team for Lowndes County, situated on I-75 on the Florida border, issued a statement that included this: “Currently, the forecast path for Irma does not lend itself to Lowndes County being a favorable location for evacuees to seek shelter. This could change if the path of the storm moves out of our area. According to Georgia Welcome Center officials, hotel/motel rooms are booked from the Georgia-Florida line to north of Cordele.”

***

Andy Miller at Georgia Health News reports that the four insurers that will offer coverage in the state’s insurance exchange next year are increasing their proposed rates beyond the big jumps they first sought. They have until Sept. 27 to make even more changes.

***

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has scheduled a dual-gig trip to Atlanta for next Wednesday. She’ll speak at Morehouse College in the morning, and Emory University in the afternoon.

***

The Trump era boiled down to one set of numbers, via Politico.com: Americans who identify as white Christians now make up a minority. Only 43 percent of Americans now identify as white Christians, a study by the Public Religion Research Institute shows. In 1967, that number was 81 percent. Among Democrats, 29 percent are both white and Christian. But among Republicans: 73 percent.

***

A knot of Republicans who once might have defined their party’s center are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that extreme gerrymandering for partisan purposes is unconstitutional. The case involves state legislative districts in Wisconsin. Among the GOP backers, according to the New York Times: U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona; Gov. John Kasich of Ohio; former U.S. senators John Danforth of Missouri, Bob Dole of Kansas, Richard Lugar of Indiana, and Alan Simpson of Wyoming; and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

***

Articles on U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s emulation of and admiration for President Donald Trump are relatively common. But this Washington Examiner piece contains a tidbit we hadn’t seen before, quoting Trump legislative director Marc Short: One value Perdue has brought to the White House, Short noted, is his ability to pinpoint for Trump’s aides where the GOP conference falls at a given moment and to highlight “who needs more attention” from the administration as major policies progress.

***

State Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, resigned her House seat on Tuesday in order to focus on her run for governor. Hours later, Smyrna City Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz said she will resign her seat today to run for Evans’ seat, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

***

Want to hear what Princess Diana’s funeral sounded like, 20 years ago today? WSB Radio’s Jamie Dupree was there — and has posted some sound clips.

***

On Oct. 2, when Democrats Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans meet for their first formal “conversation” in their 2018 bids for governor — we’ve been asked not to characterize it as a debate, they’ll be joined by a woman who has been through a similar trial.

Former secretary of state Cathy Cox, who lost a bruising battle in 2006 for her party’s gubernatorial nomination, will be moderating the event. The host is Georgia’s WIN List, a political action committee focused on election of pro-choice Democratic women.

It should provide for a neutral setting: Evans and Abrams, both of whom have now resigned their state House seats, have both served on the organization’s board. And Anna Beck, the board’s chairwoman, said organizers have taken pains to make sure that an already volatile race doesn’t become more so. “With Cathy asking questions, the candidates are sure to have an interesting and enlightening conversation,” Beck said via press release.