The screaming letter that Gov. Nathan Deal fired off to the White House was meant to express more than his surprise that federal authorities released more than 1,100 unaccompanied immigrant children to sponsors here in Georgia. It was also aimed at exposing a new rift in the campaign for his job.
Shortly after Deal’s office announced the letter, his campaign spokesman Jen Talaber sent out her own missive declaring the children are “victims of misguided federal policy implemented by President Obama” and criticizing his rival, state Sen. Jason Carter, for voting against an immigration crackdown.
“Where does he stand now that he knows the humanitarian crisis this has sparked? Does he think the Obama administration is handling this well? Does he think the administration should continue sending unaccompanied minors to Georgia without informing the state?”
Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas initially sent over a statement calling on Congress to “act quickly to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system.”
Carter’s camp later questioned why Deal, when in Congress, didn’t aggressively challenge the 2008 law that’s seen as the reason behind the wave of refugees. That law, which passed unanimously, required judges to hold hearings for young immigrant children from countries outside of Mexico and Canada to protect them from sex traffickers. From the Carter campaign:
“Why did Gov. Deal not object to this legislation when it came before the House of Representatives? Will he accept the consequences of his own actions, or lack-thereof?”
The governor vowed this week he wouldn’t “leave anything on the table” in his re-election fight against Carter. Get ready for more highly-charged political back and forth through November.