State Rep. Matt Ramsey told his House colleagues that a bill he sponsored is necessary to crack down on the employment of illegal immigrants in Georgia.
Several other Republican lawmakers also spoke Thursday on the floor of the House in support of the bill, saying the state must act because the federal government has failed to stop illegal immigration.
Ramsey said the most important section requires employers to use a federal database called E-Verify to check the immigration status of new hires.
If it passes the House it will move to the Senate, where a committee is considering a similar bill.
The House broke for lunch after about an hour of testimony and is expected to hear about two more hours of comments before a likely vote.
The House Democratic Caucus voted Wednesday to oppose Ramsey's bill.