The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act was signed into law today by Governor Sonny Perdue.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the new law targets illegal immigrants and those who employ them:
Under the law, adult illegal immigrants may not obtain some taxpayer-funded services. However, their children are exempt, and adults will still have access to some medical services, including emergency care, treatment for communicable diseases, and prenatal care. The children of illegal immigrants may still attend public school — a right that has been guaranteed by the federal courts.
Some provisions kick in July 1, 2007, including tough penalties for human trafficking. But other key provisions — one would hold employers responsible for hiring illegal immigrants — will not take effect until 2008 for those with fewer than 500 workers.
One portion prohibits employers from claiming a state tax deduction on the wages of illegal immigrants. However, it depends on the worker providing documentation, and most experts agree there are so many fake documents in the pipeline that it will be difficult to enforce.
The text of the entire bill is available here.
Governor Perdue sees the bill as an effort to ensure that the "famous Georgia hospitality is not abused," that "taxpayers are not taken advantage of," and that "citizens are protected."
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is considering suing.
If the federal government won't resolve this issue with real immigration reform, perhaps the states will.