The new Georgia Immigration law has caused a lot of confusion and questions. I have been fielding calls from concerned immigrants and employers in the past few weeks since the law was signed by Governor Deal. Here is a very brief synopsis of provisions that may affect you the reader or those that you know:
1. Section 3 of the law requires all public employers to register for and participate in the federal E-Verify program. It also prohibits them from entering into contracts for services with contractors unless the contractor has also registered for and participates in the E-verify program. The section also requires sub-contractors and sub-sub contractors to register and participate in the E-verify program before the contractor can be awarded a contract.
2. Sections 4, 5 and 6 make the use of fake identification to gain employment an aggravated identity fraud and subjects the violator to punishment of imprisonment from one to fifteen years and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
3. Section 7 regarding the harboring or transporting of undocumented aliens was challenged in a law suit and an injunction has been granted for this provision. The injunction means that this provision will not be enforced while the injunction is in effect.
4. Section 8 regarding the expanded ability of law enforcement to verify immigration status was also challenged in a law suit and an injunction has been granted for this provision as well. The injunction means that this provision will not be enforced while the injunction is in effect.
5. Section 12 requires all private employers with more than ten employees to register with and utilize the federal E-verify program. Employers will be required to sign an affidavit to this effect before a county or municipal organization issues or renews a business license, occupational tax certificate, or other document required to operate a business.
Section 12 becomes effective:
- January 1, 2012 for employers with more than 500 employees
- July 1, 2012 for employers with 100 or more employees and less 500 employees
- July 1, 2013 for employers with more than 10 and less than 100 employees
6. Section 17 requires individuals to prove their status in order to receive public benefits.
There are more sections to the immigration law than the ones mentioned above. I chose to summarize these sections based on the calls that I have received over that past few weeks. Immigration law is very complex and can change at a moments notice. Contact a licensed immigration attorney before making any decisions regarding your personal immigration matter.