Atlanta (WAOK) Now that the 40 day session of the General Assembly is over, Governor Nathan Deal waits to sign into law the bills that passed. Among the most talked about measures to pass this session is the anti-immigrant legislation.
HB87 passed on the final day of the session after much debate between the House and the Senate and several demonstrations outside the Capital. Critics describe the measure as a bill very much like Arizona’s controversial law aimed at criminalizing undocumented migrants. Supporters argued a tough immigration measure was needed in Georgia because “illegals” abuse the state’s resources and are “flooding” schools and hospitals.
The main fight over the bill involved whether Georgia businesses would be required to use the federal E-Verify system to determine the immigration status of an employee. The bill passed with E-Verify in place. The measure will also allow police to question a suspect about their immigration status and calls for punishment of people who harbor or transport undocumented migrants. With the passage of HB87, several national organizations including National Day Laborers Organizing Network, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Michigan Welfare Rights Organization have called for a boycott of Georgia like the one that has already cost Arizona millions of dollars in lost business.
Governor Deal has not said whether he will sign the immigration measure into law or not however, if he doesn’t sign or veto HB 87 within 40 days, it will automatically become law.