[UPDATE] Tough Illegal Immigration Bill Headed to Deal

By: AP
By: AP

ATLANTA -- April 15, 2011 - 3:30pm

With a 112-59 House vote, Georgia lawmakers moved to pass one of the country's toughest bills on illegal immigration. Rep. Matt Ramsey is the bill sponsor.

The bill allows law enforcement to check the immigration status of certain suspects and penalizes those harboring illegal immigrants.
Many businesses will have to verify that their employees are legal.

Rep. Ramsey says, "We took an oath to uphold the laws of this great state and to say we will let some go and others not would be a violation of that oath."

Those for the bill say it's about jobs for Americans and the law. Those against it say the immigration bill will hurt Georgia's reputation and the state's economy.

Rep. Nan Orrock, (D) Atlanta, says "We've crafted a bill that demonizes people of brown skin and people with Spanish accents."

The legislation has sparked petitions and protests like this one outside the capitol Thursday evening. Already there are concerns about legal and business challenges.

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ATLANTA (AP) -- April 15, 2011 - Noon -

Gov. Nathan Deal says he'll sign a tough immigration law recently passed by the Georgia Legislature that includes elements similar to a contentious law enacted in Arizona last year.

Deal, in a Friday interview with The Associated Press, said the
legislation "sends a signal that the citizens of our state believe
the rule of law is important."

The bill passed late Thursday, mere hours before the end of
Georgia's 2011 legislative session.

When a congressman, Deal backed tough measures aimed at illegal
immigration.

On Friday, Deal said he did not think Georgia law would lead to
boycotts or harm businesses in the state. He did say he hopes it
will "send a message to members of Congress that it's time for
them to get serious about the issue."

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ATLANTA (AP) -- April 15, 2011 -

The Georgia Legislature has passed an immigration bill that contains some parts similar to an Arizona law being challenged in court.

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal must sign it to make it law. His
office on Thursday would not say if the Republican governor would
sign it.

Deal supported tough immigration measures when he was in
Congress.

The bill would authorize law enforcement officers to verify the
immigration status of certain criminal suspects and allows them to
detain those found to be in the country illegally. It would also
penalize people who "knowingly and intentionally" transport or
harbor illegal immigrants.

It also would require employers with 10 or more employees to use
a federal database called E-Verify to check the immigration status
of new hires.


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