Undeterred by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Georgia follows Arizona’s lead 

Three days after a federal appeals court continued to block implementation of major parts of a controversial immigration law passed in Arizona last year, state legislators in Georgia overwhelmingly passed a bill with provisions similar to Arizona’s SB 1070. 

The measure sailed through the Georgia House on a 112-59 vote, and easily passed in the state Senate 37-19 despite threats of boycotts by pro-immigration groups and lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, called the Georgia law “one of the best written and potentially most effective” of various Arizona copy-cat laws around the country.

The bill requires law enforcement to verify the immigration status of criminal suspects, detain those thought to be in the U.S. illegally, and punish those who transport or harbor illegal immigrants. It also makes it a felony to use false documentation when applying for a job, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In addition, the legislation requires all private businesses with more than 10 employees to use the federal E-Verify system to make sure they are not hiring illegal workers. However, the state Senate added a provision that gives companies a 30-day period to comply with the law in cases of “good faith violations.”

Urging Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bill, critics such as Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, called the bill “misguided and likely unconstitutional…the wrong way to approach the broken immigration system.” But CNN reports that Gov. Deal plans to sign the legislation into law.

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