Parts of Georgia's New Immigration Laws Go Into Effect

AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser

A new law targeting undocumented immigrants has gone into effect in Georgia, though some of the most controversial parts are on hold after a federal judge blocked them pending further review of the measure's constitutionality.

At the moment, the law is going into the effect amid a lot of confusion.

State Rep. Debbie Buckner, D-Junction City, said she's gotten a lot of calls from constituents—including landscapers, roofers and farmers—who have questions about the new law.

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"It's been a confusing law from the beginning for a number of people in my area," she said. "After the ruling, it was like, well, now what does it mean."

Judge Thomas Thrash on Monday granted a request by civil liberties groups to block two sections of the law until a lawsuit they filed challenging its constitutionality can be resolved.

"There is confusion about the law, about the judge's decision and about what is going into effect," said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

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One of those sections authorizes police to check the immigration status of suspects without proper identification and to detain illegal immigrants. The other creates a state penalty for people who knowingly and willingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants while committing another crime.

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The parts of the law that take effect Friday include:

  • A new felony offense with hefty penalties for using false information or documentation when applying for a job;
  • The creation of an immigration review board to investigate complaints about government officials not complying with state laws related to illegal immigration;
  • Fines and possible removal from office for any public official who fails to use federal databases to verify the immigration status of new hires or applicants for public benefits;
  • Instructions for the state Agriculture Department to study the effects of immigration on that sector, to suggest improvements for federal guest worker programs and to study the possibility of a state guest worker program.

Read the whole story at FOX News Latino

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