Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Teachers Challenge State Law on Hiring; They Say That It Unfairly Restricts Employment of Foreign-Born Workers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Teachers Challenge State Law on Hiring; They Say That It Unfairly Restricts Employment of Foreign-Born Workers

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK -- The constitutionality of a 1938 Georgia law forbidding the employment of foreign-born workers in many circumstances is headed for a federal court showdown this summer.

A lawsuit filed by two Jamaican teachers against the Glynn County Board of Education and school system Superintendent Michael Bull that challenges the law has been set for trial Monday, Aug. 14, by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony Alaimo.

Alaimo issued an order Tuesday setting the trial date for the lawsuit filed by Heather Chang and Lorna Johnson. He has given attorneys in the case until Monday, Aug. 7, to file related documents and relevant legal opinions in the case, according to the order.

Because a state law is challenged, Alaimo has ordered the Georgia attorney general to participate in the lawsuit on behalf of the state, court records show.

In 1976, the attorney general issued an opinion that questioned the constitutionality and application of the law.

Meanwhile, the judge has canceled a previously scheduled June 16 hearing on the lawsuit. That continuance allows the lawyers for both sides as well as the attorney general more time to prepare for the case, according to court documents.

Chang and Johnson filed the lawsuit May 4 in U.S. District Court in Brunswick.

Both are in the United States legally and intend to become naturalized citizens. They also have state certification to teach in Georgia, according to their lawsuit.

Chang has taught second grade at Goodyear Elementary School, while Johnson has been a technology teacher at Risley Middle School.

At issue is whether the 68-year-old Georgia law known as the State Alien Statute trumps the authority of the federal government to control immigration and naturalization in the United States. …

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