Several parts of the Georgia legislation are similar to an anti-immigrant law adopted in Arizona last year. Gov. Nathan Deal has said he will sign the bill into the law. Most sections are expected to go into effect July 1.
Some 23,000 petitions were delivered April 11 opposing the legislation. About 150 people protested and held a vigil outside the capitol building three days later. The law would:
Require Georgia businesses with more than 10 employees to use the federal E-Verify program to check the immigration status of new hires;
Punish people who use a fake identification to get a job, with up to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines;
Empower local and state police to arrest undocumented immigrants and transport them to state and federal jails, and to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect has committed a crime, including for minor traffic violations;
Punish people who, while committing another crime, transport or harbor undocumented immigrants or encourage them to come to Georgia, with imprisonment for up to 12 months and up to $1,000 in fines.
Georgina Perez, 21, of Marietta, who came to Georgia from Mexico when she was three years old, told the New York Times, The politicians forget that we are human beings. We have our houses here in Georgia. We went to school here. We have families here. For them to criminalize us was disgusting.
She was one of seven undocumented students who stopped traffic in front of Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta April 5 and unfurled a banner that read, We will no longer remain in the shadows.
The May Day rally here is being organized by the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights.
Florida: protesters denounce U.S. deportations of Haitians
Socialist in Miami joins immigrant rights rally
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