Sen. Joshua McKoon, R-Columbus, said Monday his proposed legislation to stop illegal immigrants from receiving Georgia driver’s licenses would restore a longtime prohibition in state law overturned by President Obama’s actions expanding “deferred action” on deportation.

McKoon told a press conference that the bill answers a series of actions by Obama, including an executive order in November. “The people of Georgia do not want to defer to this president’s judgment on who will be issued a Georgia’s driver’s license,” he said.

While opponents say the bill lacks compassion, he said, “what about compassion for a person who’s been out of work 12 months because the job is filled by someone who’s been in the country illegally? Why should we reward illegal conduct?”

He said the bill, which he “dropped” Monday, has about a dozen co-sponsors. “I’m very encouraged by the level of support that the bill has,” he said, adding that he’s “looking forward to a very robust debate” on the issue.

The legislation would prevent driver’s licenses from being issued to illegal immigrants, including those with “deferred action” status who have work permits and Social Security numbers. He said a total of 12,000 illegal immigrants have state driver’s licenses, with many more applying. Already-issued driver’s licenses would be invalid if the bill passes, with vehicle impoundment authorized for repeatedly driving without a license. 

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