ATLANTA – A new measure introduced today in the state Senate would require Georgia businesses to use the federal government’s E-Verify system to determine whether someone is in the country illegally.
Under SB 40, law enforcement officers in Georgia would also be allowed to ask for immigration documents from anyone stopped for probable cause of a crime. The proposed law is similar to one that Arizona authorities passed last year.
“I do not want to promote any law that would be a hindrance to businesses,” Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, said in a news release. “The purpose of this bill is to restrict the massive influx of illegal immigrants into Georgia. This is about stopping illegal workers from taking Georgia jobs and stopping their financial drain on our education, health and public-safety systems.”
In an op-ed, Murphy said authorities would not be allowed to check the immigration status of crime victims or witnesses. The bill also excludes people or companies that have filed H-1 or H-2 applications with the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Many industries in Georgia rely on temporary foreign workers,” Murphy said in a news release. “H-1 and H-2 applications allow businesses to hire temporary foreign workers, including restaurant workers, hotel workers, nurses, agricultural workers and various specialty employees. Although we want these businesses to stay within the law, we do not want to hinder their businesses by making them use E-Verify when they are already taking steps to ensure their employees are legal.”
In the state House, Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, introduced HB 87, the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011.”