A bill designed to wipe out red tape created by Georgia’s sweeping immigration statute would put the state in violation of a federal anti-terrorism law, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
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House Bill 125 has passed the House and is now pending in the Senate Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. Senate Bill 160 has passed the Senate and is now pending in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.
Both bills would tweak Georgia’s immigration laws so that people who have presented identification proving U.S. citizenship would not have to do so again when reapplying for public benefits, including professional licenses. HB 125 includes additional measures. Some highlights:
• Adds driver’s licenses, homestead tax exemptions, assisted housing, tax credits, grants and retirement benefits to the list of public benefits for which people must show certain forms of “secure and verifiable” identification.
• Prohibits people from using foreign passports to obtain public benefits, unless those passports include records indicating they are legally in the country.
• Says all city, county and state government agencies must require their contractors to use a free online work-authorization program called E-Verify. Government agencies with fewer than two employees are now exempt from this requirement.