[UPDATED] GA Immigration Bill Drawing Strong Opinions

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

[UPDATED 03/01 at 3:50 PM]

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act -- better known as House Bill 87 -- would give law enforcement the power to ask for citizenship papers from anyone who they think may not be in the U.S. legally.

Also, a new version of the bill would make it a felony for a person to 'willfully and fraudulently' use fake documents to apply for work in the US.

Republican Representative Matt Ramsey wrote the legislation and says he hopes it will come to a vote by the end of the week (2/28-3/4).

"I think that we should require background checks on everyone."

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act is getting lots of feedback from Georgians.

Drafted by Republican Representative Matt Ramsey, the bill would require all businesses to check the citizenship of potential employees through an online system.

But many south Georgia businesses say they already 'employ' a similar process.

Wesley Brown manages Jonah's Restaurant in Thomasville. He says, "We do background calls and checks on any employee that comes in and fills out an application that we're thinking about hiring."

Currently, it is illegal to hire an undocumented person -- but that doesn't mean people won't.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates between 10 and 11 million illegals live in the US, and that number continues to grow.

While people go back and forth on whether the bill is right or wrong, as well as how it could affect business, some say it shouldn't be up to the states at all

One Thomasville resident commented, "This really is an issue of the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security, but they have failed to do their jobs, so now it's up to the states to protect their own citizens, you know, to keep them employed."

Now, it's up to law makers to make the final call.

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  • by Not an Immigrant Location: ga on Apr 28, 2011 at 07:36 PM
    well think about how will this affect the ga economy look at many of the agricultural area will see that many are hispanics but look around and you will see that not many not to offend but blacks and whites wont work n those conditions for a low wages someone got to do the job right. Why you think that not many americans go to apply for a job there? Its all becuase the low wages and the conditions. If Americans would apply n work, there wouldnt be no immigration problem.
  • by Not an Immigrant on Mar 1, 2011 at 01:50 PM
    There are many ways to legally immigrate to the United States. If someone ignores the laws as they relate to living here, what makes you think they will abide by any other law. I am not against immigration, just illegal immigration. If done correctly, I welcome you to the United States. I support the proposed law in Georgia.
  • by More to the Story Location: Georgia on Feb 9, 2011 at 09:23 PM
    One must look at WHO is pushing the anti-immigrant movement and why. Many in Georgia use FAIR as a data source, but don't always realize what the organization stands for or the other organization/s with whom the founder is affiliated. FAIR is an acronym for "Federation for American Immigration Reform" which sound benign. But is it? Those wanting more info, may want to take a look at the intelligence reports on the Southern Poverty Law Center site. Couple FAIR and affiliated organizations with connections in Georgia, and follow the relationships to lawmakers. There are multiple anti-immigrant bills under consideration. If you read them carefully, think through how they could be applied and what they will cost taxpayers, (in the name of savings) I suspect you will grab your wallet and run.
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