David Beasly, Reuters, April 15, 2011
An Arizona-style immigration bill cleared the Georgia legislature late Thursday and needs only the governor’s signature to become law.
The legislation would give police authority to question suspects about their immigration status. It would also require many private employers to check the immigration status of newly hired workers on a federal database called E-Verify.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has not said whether he would sign it.
Deal supported E-Verify as a member of the U.S. Congress, said Phil Kent, spokesman for the Virginia-based nonprofit Americans for Immigration Control.
“It would be political suicide for him to go against the wishes of the large majority of the people’s representatives,” Kent said on Friday.
On Monday, a U.S. appeals court agreed with an earlier court ruling that blocked parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law from going into effect.
Arizona-inspired immigration measures also are proceeding through legislatures in Alabama, Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Utah has passed and the governor signed an Arizona-inspired measure which also included provisions such as a guest worker program.