Latinos United of Carroll County, Inc.
It creates a new crime, “aggravated identity fraud,” that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. If the law goes into effect, it would be a crime to get a job with false documents, whether the information corresponds to a real person or not.
HB-87 says anyone who an officer considers a suspect can be asked for papers, and if the person can’t produce a driver’s license or other acceptable document, then the officer is authorized to investigate whether the person is out of status, and if so to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement and take whatever other action state or federal law permits.
The legal status of anyone who lands in jail will be investigated and ICE will be informed if they are undocumented. This is already in place under the federal government’s mass deportation “secure communities” program.
The law creates three new crimes: inciting undocumented people to come to Georgia and transporting and harboring them within the state. It applies only if you know the person is out of status and you are violating another law at the same time (traffic laws count).
There are exemptions. For transporting, they cover those who offer privately funded social services, public employees in the course of their duties, an employer who is transporting a worker he hired legally, and someone taking an immigrant to testify in court or do other official business with the government. There is no exemption for ambulances or public transport workers.
For harboring, exemptions cover providers of privately funded social services or services to a child or the victim of a crime; providers of privately funded social services; and those providing emergency medical care. There are no exemptions for universities, or for non-emergency medical care, or for priests, rabbis or ministers.
For inciting, there are no exemptions. It includes just helping the person come to Georgia.
If the violation involves more than seven undocumented immigrants, of it was done for money, then it’s a felony punishable by 5 years imprisonment and fines of up to $20,000. Otherwise it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
2215 Perimeter Park Dr Suite #6 Atlanta, Ga. 30341 PH: 770 457 5232 770 457 5231 FX 678 325 6747
All existing restrictions in state and local services remain in place. The requirements for verifying the legal status of clients and compliance by government offices are tightened.
It increases the use of E-Verify, the federal government’s online system for verifying the legal status of new hires. All state and local government bodies are to use them. The law doesn’t apply to the federal government, but it uses E-Verify already.
This is for new hires only. Federal law prohibits screening existing employees or job applicants.
All contractors, sub-contractors, and sub-subcontractors must use E-Verify and provide an affidavit to that effect. The self-employed that have no employees must certify that and send a copy of their driver’s license or other ID Georgia accepts.
All employers of ten or more persons will also have to use E-Verify to get or renew business licenses and permits. The law goes into effect in stages, depending on the size of the business. For the largest, it goes into effect Jan1, 2012; for the smallest, July 1, 2013.
HB-87 imposes new bureaucratic procedures and paperwork. There are new civil and even criminal penalties for government bodies and employees that don’t comply. Any voter is empowered to file a complaint with a new board to be appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House which will investigate complaints, order corrective action, and even fine employees and their departments.
The law says only “secure and verifiable” ID will be accepted as proof of identity which will now be required in more instances. It says the Georgia Drivers License or ID card is valid, and the drivers licenses of certain other states and certain other documents. The law doesn’t say what those documents are, but it does say the Mexican Matrícula Consular is not to be accepted as “secure and verifiable.
The law stipulates July 1, but it will be challenged in court and a judge might issue a temporary restraining order against enforcing some or all of its provisions, as happened in Arizona with last year’s SB 1070. That case is still pending.
Prepared for the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights.
REPORT ANY RIGHT’S VIOLATIONS TO: 770 457 5232