Georgia Set to Defend Anti-immigration Law

Monday, 16 May 2011 11:48 AM

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Republicans in Georgia who helped pass a new tough anti-illegal immigration law that Gov. Nathan Deal signed Friday are ready for the expected legal challenges.

The Georgia law has similar provision as laws enacted in Arizona and Utah, both of which are facing court battles over the laws, the Forsyth News reported Monday.

georgia, immigrationState Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming, who helped write the law, said he expects and welcomes the legal challenges.

"I don’t think they will [hold up] because this bill was drawn up differently than the Arizona bill," he said. “We’ll be ready for any type of challenge that comes forward."

After signing the law, Deal said that the state has the sixth-highest number of illegal residents, which "comes at enormous expense to Georgia taxpayers.”
“Those who claim that this law will have a negative financial impact on Georgia completely ignore the billions of dollars Georgians have spent on our schools, our hospitals, our courtrooms and our jails because of people who are in our state illegally,” he said.

The Georgia law authorizes law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of certain suspects and to detain them if they are in the country illegally. It penalizes people who knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants. It also makes it a felony in some situations to present false documents or information when applying for a job.

The law also requires private employers with more than 10 employees to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires. Most parts of the new law are set to take effect July 1.

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