Georgia Governor Signs Sweeping Immigration Law

Karen Jacobs, Reuters, April 17, 2006

ATLANTA—The state of Georgia approved a sweeping measure on Monday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the people who hire them as a passionate debate on immigration heats up in the United States.

The law could fuel a national controversy as the federal government and other states consider how to deal with millions of undocumented workers while immigrants, many of whom are Hispanic, are displaying their political power through mass demonstrations in cities across the United States.

The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue, denies many state services paid for by taxpayers to people who are in the United States illegally.

It also forces contractors doing business with the state to verify the legal status of new workers, and requires police to notify immigration officials if people charged with crimes are illegal immigrants.

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Other provisions of the law prohibit employers from claiming a tax deduction for wages of $600 or more paid to undocumented workers, impose prison terms for human trafficking and limit the services commercial companies can provide to illegal immigrants.

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