[UPDATE] Georgia Immigration Bill Clears Senate

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

[UPDATE] 3-18 4:06 PM by Associated Press--

ATLANTA (AP) -- Big immigration bills have cleared each chamber of the Georgia Legislature. But a number of smaller measures have failed to advance and may be stalled for this session.

Of nearly a dozen immigration-related bills, only three cleared either the House or Senate by crossover day, the deadline by which legislation is supposed to pass at least one chamber.

The Senate and House passed separate bills that require many employers to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires. They would also authorize law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of criminal suspects who can't produce an accepted form of identification.

A bill that makes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a felony on the first conviction only for illegal immigrants cleared the Senate.

So far, State lawmakers are following suit with Arizona's immigration crackdown.

Today, the senate passed almost overwhelmingly a bill targeting illegal immigrants and the people who hire them.

In a vote of 34 to 21, Senator Jack Murphy's Senate Bill 40 was approved by the Senate.

The proposal is two fold: it gives law enforcement the power to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.

And it requires employers to use the federal work authorization program to verify the status of new employees.

Several downtown business owners in Valdosta say they'd welcome a statewide overhaul of Georgia's immigration laws.

"I believe it's a good thing to know where our workers come from," said William Colyer, the owner of Colyer's Jewelers on Ashley Street.

Business owner Rudine Miller, who owns nearby Rudine's Bridal agrees, "I wouldn't want anybody illegal working in my store that's not supposed to be here," said said. "Because of all the riffraff you have to go through, I don't want to hire anybody illegal and then everything comes back on me."

Now, The bill moves to the House for consideration.

Then if it's passed by House lawmakers, Governor Nathan Deal has the power to sign it into law.

House Bill 40 would make it a mandate for public employers to comply with a federal program, or E-verify database, to check employment eligibility.

However, the employer would face penalties for not complying with the program. Those penalties are not yet defined.

And the proposal is similar to strict legislation enacted in Arizona last year.

The Grand Canyon State's law gives police officers the authority to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is here illegally.

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  • by supporter Location: Georgia on Mar 26, 2011 at 01:19 PM
    @ EstaGirl thats not absolutly true there are a lot of americans that do construction and contracting. The problem isn't with them being here, the problem comes in when they are here ilegally and not paying taxes like everyone else. If they just took the proper steps to be in the country no one would have a problem with it. It is just like people from any other country in the world that want to become a US citizen. The bill doesnt target only mexicans, it is for anyone in this country ilegally.
  • by EstaGirl Location: Geogria on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    okk. seriously. what is wrong with americans these days? Us mexicans only do the jobs AMERICANS dont WANT to do.
  • by Gene Location: Athens on Mar 21, 2011 at 09:05 AM
    HB 87 is do watered down as to be ineffective. Republicans are all talk and no action, both state and federal government. I'm finished with the Republican Party for good!
  • by ga Location: ga on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:14 AM
    t all anti immigration peoples the ilegal peoples pay taxes like a citizin or like green card houlder if the lose the job becouse economic problems the dont run to the unemployed office the go to fine other job and the will fined legal workers and citizin colect unemployment benefits for long its posible now who hurting the economic ilegal person dont get any benefits citizin and legal will but on the time to pay taxes all do the same so how much money the state going to lose if the pases those laws "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE STATE OF GA AND MISTER DEAL DO THE RIGTH THING"
  • by ga Location: ga on Mar 21, 2011 at 03:08 AM
    lamheregood....not true, they may not can get but its dished out to there children, also they cannot ask if they are legal or not
  • by A thought Location: Georgia on Mar 20, 2011 at 01:55 PM
    I'm NOT in agriculture, but can easily see, if we send them all home, our food prices are going to go up dramatically. Our grocery bill increase will be the least of the problem. *Restaurants will increase their prices, so waitresses will earn less in tips both because of fewer customers and lower tips. Some restaurants will close, leaving many unemployed. *Many Georgians (legal ones) use school lunch subsidies. Those costs will go up as foods prices increase. *The tsunami/earthquake/nuclear disaster is going to cause food shortages in that country. We will need to grow/harvest more food, not less. Food supplies are only ONE of the many ways this is going to affect us all. As people leave the state, at least in the metro areas, home prices will drop more so we will have less tax revenue to pay for local schools, police & fire. These bills are going to snowball in ways people don't realize - partly because there is so much MISINFORMATION floating around (like "illegals" collect foodstamps, Social Security, unemployment etc). Passing these bills is going to INCREASE unemployment (and unemployment benefit costs). Those who support these anti-immigration bills are dooming Georgia citizens and taxpayers.
  • by Iamheregood Location: Dunwoody on Mar 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    Actually, illegal immigrants can not get food stamps and medicaid. When somebody apply for these benefits, the agency check if they are citizen or green card holder. No illegal immigrants can access to these benefits. Just want to make it clear.
    • reply
      by FMR on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM in reply to Iamheregood
      I know that these benefits have been given out to illegal immigrants, because I have seen it personally. The documents these illegal immigrants provide look legitimate and are obviously not verified by certain DFCS offices. I've even seen illegal immigrants getting benefits from 2 different counties. A lot of people, even illegal immigrants, have figured out how to work the system.
  • by Business Owner Location: LP on Mar 19, 2011 at 01:42 PM
    The government wants to fine any business that hires an illegal immigrant. How much money does our government hand these illegal immigrants in the form of food stamps, medicaid, etc? And now these illegals have learned how to file their W-2 forms and work the tax system to get an EIC. If the government wants to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants, then they should stop handing out benefits to them first!
  • by 2Don'tGetIts Location: Georgia on Mar 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    60 Arizona business leaders, including Intel, told the AZ governor by letter NO MORE anti-immigration laws. They've had a nearly a year since SB1070 was enacted & realize the costs. The clueless & self-righteous rhetoric repeaters need a reality check or a real education. Those who drink the "deport 'em all" cool-aid are being duped by FAIR, NumbersUSA and their affiliates. Georgia's "Illegal Alien DUI" legislation is a "Juan Crow" version of the old "Jim Crow" laws. I don't condone DUI driving, just saying laws should be equal for everyone for the same crime. I don't condone illegal immigration but realize all cases are not the same. There is no reasonable path for many. As an example, those who were brought here as KIDS should NOT be punished because they grow up. They should have a path to citizenship. We need FEDERAL immigration reform, NOT piecemeal state actions. Georgia and other states are wasting a FORTUNE focusing on anti-immigration (the time & $$ spent generating hate is disgusting) when they should be focusing on JOBS & our ability to compete in a Global Marketplace in addition to education. Georgia has the HIGHEST number of people under the criminal justice system. Seems Georgia would rather send people to CRIME Universities aka prison - 1 of every 13 is in prison/jail or parole/probation and it's costing a fortune. The LAST thing we need are more CRIMINALS and HB87 makes CITIZENS into criminals who can face jail or prison time.
  • by RJ on Mar 18, 2011 at 09:11 PM
    Well, if you send them home, you are going to have a difficult time buying produce, etc. Be prepared to pay and let them ship it in from other countries that have no regulations on what they can use on your produce and other foods! They do pay taxes and many are nice, hard working people!!! They are not all bad, just like we are not all bad! Lets keep the good, hard-working ones and send home the rest! If not....are you willing to work in the fields, or other do the other jobs??? I think not...most young adults these days have never hit a hard lick at anything except maybe a video game!
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