Danielle Beach-Oswald is the current President and Managing Partner of Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates in Washington, DC. Ms. Beach utilizes her 19 years of experience in immigration law to help individuals immigrate to the United States for humanitarian reasons. Born in Brussels, Belgium, Ms. Beach has lived in England, Belgium, Italy and Ivory Coast and has traveled extensively to many countries. Ms. Beach advocates for clients from around the world who seek freedom from torture in their country, or who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking. She has also represented her clients at U.S. Consulates in Romania, China, Canada, Mexico, and several African countries. With her extensive experience in family-based and employment-based immigration law Ms. Beach not only assists her clients in obtaining a better standard of living in the United States, she also helps employers obtain professional visas, and petitions for family members. She also handles many complex naturalization issues. Ms. Beach has unique expertise representing clients in immigration matters pending before the Federal District Courts, Circuit Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals and Immigration Courts. She has won over 400 humanitarian cases in the United States. Her firm's website is www.boilapc.com.

Despite sharp criticism from the Obama administration regarding Arizona's passage of a controversial immigration law last year, other states are continuing to follow Arizona's lead and pass other harsh immigration laws that replicate many of the key aspects of the Arizona law.

On July 1, Georgia's HB 87 became law. However, Federal Judge Thomas Thrash halted two of the most contentious issues of the law under a preliminary injunction. Specifically, Judge Thrash put a halt on the bill's provision to allow police in Georgia to check the status of criminal suspects without proper identification. Additionally, Thrash also stopped another provision of the bill that would punish individuals who in the process of committing another crime knowingly harbored or transported illegal immigrants. Attorneys for the state of Georgia have already decided to appeal Judge Thrash's injunction.

Despite Thrash's order of injunction, several key components of the law did go into effect on July 1 including:

  • Requiring state officials to use the E-Verify system to check the status of new hires by instituting fines and possible removal from office, and

  • Large fines and a felony offense for the use of false information or documentation when applying for a job.

In January, other aspects of the bill come into place including a requirement that all employers in Georgia are to use the E-Verify system if they have more than 500 employees with all employers with at least 10 employees required to use E-Verify by January 2013. The mandatory use of E-Verify is problematic as E-Verify is a system prone to errors as a study commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security and conducted by Westat noted that over an 18 month period, E-Verify incorrectly authorized 54% of workers that should not have been cleared.

Latino groups across Georgia protested the implementation of the bill last week, with Georgia's Latino Alliance for Human Rights organizing a large protest against the bill on Friday, July 1. Criticism also came from Georgia's large agriculture sector and other businesses in the state. Georgia's farmers are confused as to what their responsibilities are under the bill and how it will impact them economically.

A new study by the Center of American Progress noted the high cost of state immigration measures by focusing on the impact of the Arizona's new law. Not only will state enforcement measures strain already stretched state budgets as police try to enforce the measure, but the Center for American Progress noted that Arizona lost $141 million in tourist revenue leading to a loss of nearly 3000 jobs and $9.4 million in state tax dollars.

Since the passage of Arizona's immigration law, similar laws have been passed not only in Georgia, but also in South Carolina,Indiana, and Alabama. As states continue to tackle immigration matters, it is important for a cohesive policy from policymakers in Washington to handle this issue. Inconsistencies with the use of E-Verify and other components of immigration law lead to not only a confusing myriad of laws, but also unnecessary costs for both businesses and state governments.