July 2, 2007
Immigration law starts today
Augusta, Ga. – While the United States Congress debate over immigration reform has died down in recent days, a Georgia law ramping up the requirements for worker citizenship verification took effect.
Just today, Georgia Senate Bill 529 began requiring large companies who do business with government agencies to use a citizenship database to check the status of employees. The law begins phasing in smaller companies and will require all contractors and subcontractors to enroll by July 2009.
The law also affects health care for illegal immigrants in Georgia. For some non-emergency services, immigrants will have to prove they are in the country legally to receive state funding for care.
Paul Harris, Augusta State University associate professor of Political Science and director of ASU’s Center for Immigration Studies, says the new law could have far-reaching effects. Dr. Harris recently co-authored a book chapter on the new law and is willing to share his expertise on this issue.
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