[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).
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"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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