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  • Not mean or extreme

    Georgia legislation deals with illegal immigrants and their employers without exceedingly harsh measures


    Published on: 04/19/06

    The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act is perhaps the best example in the nation of states acting responsibly in the limited role they have in dealing with illegal immigration.

    The measure "” signed into law Monday by Gov. Sonny Perdue and aimed at the state's estimated 300,000 to 800,000 illegal immigrants "” is far superior to some of the mean-spirited immigration bills the General Assembly faced when it opened its 2006 session in January. Most of those never would have passed muster with the courts, which have consistently ruled that only the federal government is empowered to enforce immigration laws.


    more than 40 of the 50 states to take up statewide measures this year. Most are aimed at cracking down on government services to illegal immigrants, such as the measure Arizona voters approved in 2004. Very few states have gone about deciding what proper role they can play as thoughtfully as Georgia has in passing Senate Bill 529.

    Much of the credit for that success should go to state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), who took on the responsibility of fashioning the most worthwhile of the proposed immigration bills into a comprehensive measure that deals not only with illegal immigrants, but also those who illegally employ them and profit by their cheap labor. State Sen. Sam Zamarripa (D-Atlanta) worked closely with Rogers to refine parts of the proposal to mitigate the impact on undocumented workers and their families.

    Rather than take the legally and morally dubious step of denying essential health services, such as prenatal care and childhood immunizations, to all illegal immigrants, Rogers and Zamarripa agreed to apply the new rules to adults only "” a compromise that both men were criticized for by zealots on the extremes.

    In the end, Zamarripa voted against the measure because he felt the issue should be handled by Congress and not the states. But his role of working with Rogers to improve the measure was very important in the process.

    For instance, one of the provisions of the new law, effective next year, makes human trafficking a felony in Georgia, punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Already Atlanta and Cobb County police have set up special squads to investigate tips on human trafficking operations.

    Plus, the law will phase in a requirement that companies doing business with state or local governments use a federal work authorization program to verify the legality of new hires "” a process that has been voluntary and widely ignored in the past. All other Georgia employers will eventually need to prove they checked the immigration status of their workers or face losing the state tax deduction they claim on the wages they pay them.

    Few observers expected the Legislature to make employers face up to their responsibilities on this issue. But failure to do so would have rendered the legislation meaningless.

    The new law may not stem the tide of new arrivals to our state, nor will it significantly reduce local spending for undocumented workers and their families who are already here, but it helps clarify Georgia's proper role in this important national issue.

  • #2
    Georgia legislation deals with illegal immigrants and their employers without exceedingly harsh measures


    Published on: 04/19/06

    The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act is perhaps the best example in the nation of states acting responsibly in the limited role they have in dealing with illegal immigration.

    The measure "” signed into law Monday by Gov. Sonny Perdue and aimed at the state's estimated 300,000 to 800,000 illegal immigrants "” is far superior to some of the mean-spirited immigration bills the General Assembly faced when it opened its 2006 session in January. Most of those never would have passed muster with the courts, which have consistently ruled that only the federal government is empowered to enforce immigration laws.


    more than 40 of the 50 states to take up statewide measures this year. Most are aimed at cracking down on government services to illegal immigrants, such as the measure Arizona voters approved in 2004. Very few states have gone about deciding what proper role they can play as thoughtfully as Georgia has in passing Senate Bill 529.

    Much of the credit for that success should go to state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), who took on the responsibility of fashioning the most worthwhile of the proposed immigration bills into a comprehensive measure that deals not only with illegal immigrants, but also those who illegally employ them and profit by their cheap labor. State Sen. Sam Zamarripa (D-Atlanta) worked closely with Rogers to refine parts of the proposal to mitigate the impact on undocumented workers and their families.

    Rather than take the legally and morally dubious step of denying essential health services, such as prenatal care and childhood immunizations, to all illegal immigrants, Rogers and Zamarripa agreed to apply the new rules to adults only "” a compromise that both men were criticized for by zealots on the extremes.

    In the end, Zamarripa voted against the measure because he felt the issue should be handled by Congress and not the states. But his role of working with Rogers to improve the measure was very important in the process.

    For instance, one of the provisions of the new law, effective next year, makes human trafficking a felony in Georgia, punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Already Atlanta and Cobb County police have set up special squads to investigate tips on human trafficking operations.

    Plus, the law will phase in a requirement that companies doing business with state or local governments use a federal work authorization program to verify the legality of new hires "” a process that has been voluntary and widely ignored in the past. All other Georgia employers will eventually need to prove they checked the immigration status of their workers or face losing the state tax deduction they claim on the wages they pay them.

    Few observers expected the Legislature to make employers face up to their responsibilities on this issue. But failure to do so would have rendered the legislation meaningless.

    The new law may not stem the tide of new arrivals to our state, nor will it significantly reduce local spending for undocumented workers and their families who are already here, but it helps clarify Georgia's proper role in this important national issue.

    Comment


    • #3
      I was very interested in reading this new georgia enforcement immigration bill and one hing i noticed is, i is extremily soft...I thought it was very hard and evil....This bill exclude undocumented students, so undocumeneted parents will still be able to send heir undocumeneted kids to school..This bill DO NOT exclude undocumented migrants from getting health care services and other stuff.

      So, this bill is nothing at all..good news for my mexicans brother and sisters in geogia

      --------------

      Comment


      • #4
        You're right troll2005. The bill isn't bad for illegals. Unless of course, they want to get a JOB or benefits in Georgia. Or how about having to live in fear of the local police. You know, little things like that.

        Comment


        • #5
          immortale- you are a moron

          Comment

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