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Monday, February 28, 2011 - 9:54am

Illegal Immigration, HOPE In Day-20 Capitol Spotlight

A legislative committee has passed a bill that aims to crack down on illegal immigration in Georgia.

The legislation sponsored by state Rep. Matt Ramsey, a Peachtree City Republican, passed out of the House Judiciary Non-Civil committee easily Monday despite an attempt by Democrats on the committee to table the bill.

The proposed law will now move on to the House Rules committee, which would decide if and when it gets a full House vote. Ramsey says he hopes it will be up for a House vote this week.

Ramsey's bill would require all employers in the state with more than four employees to verify the immigration status of new hires. It would also make it a felony to present false documents or information when applying for a job.

Concerning legislation to revamp the delivery of the HOPE scholarship, Senate Democrats are concerned that a proposal to cut the program pre-kindergarten program is moving too quickly through the Legislature.

They say they will offer their own suggestions for how to fix the programs, which are set to go broke as early as next year. Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal unveiled his plan, including cutting HOPE scholarships for most recipients and scaling pre-k back to a half day.

The plan has backing from House Democrats, including Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. But Senate Democrats say they were left out of the conversations and felt blindsided by Deal's proposal.

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