Georgia Passes Arizona-style Immigration Law

Where is this taking us? An Arizona-style immigration bill cleared the Georgia legislature last week and needs only the governor’s signature to become law.

The legislation would give police authority to question suspects about their immigration status. It would also require many private employers to check the immigration status of newly hired workers on a federal database called E-Verify.

After extended debate, both the state Senate and House of Representatives passed the legislation in the final hours of their 40-day session.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has not said whether he would sign it.

Deal supported E-Verify as a member of the U.S. Congress, said Phil Kent, spokesman for the Virginia-based nonprofit Americans for Immigration Control.

“It would be political suicide for him to go against the wishes of the large majority of the people’s representatives,” Kent said on Friday.

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials’ Educational Fund on Thursday called the legislation “unconstitutional and costly” and predicted that it will produce an expensive legal fight for Georgia, as it has for Arizona.

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