The Senate Agriculture committee has approved a resolution urging Congress to allow states to administer their own version of the H-2A federal visa program that allows employers to bring in foreign workers for seasonal agricultural work.
Two Democratic lawmakers want to give small businesses more time before they are forced to use a federal database meant to keep illegal immigrants from the workforce. A bill would give companies with 10 to 50 employees until 2015 before the must use the E-Verify database.
Immigration was a dominant topic during the last legislative session in Georgia. And while it's likely to surface again when lawmakers return to the Capitol next month, it probably won't take as large a share of the spotlight.
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia is busy preparing municipalities for changes to immigration law. Not complying puts them at risk for losing funding. Some small cities and counties may not have enough people to handle paperwork.
Federal officials confirm that two teenagers who entered the country illegally as children and were facing deportation proceedings have been freed. Homeland Security Department officials say 19-year-old Pedro Morales of Dalton and 18-year-old Luis Hernandez of Calhoun have been released from the Stewart Detention Center in south Georgia and their cases were dismissed.
Starting in January, Georgia’s new immigration law requires companies with 500 workers or more to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure their employees can work here legally. Over the next year, smaller employers will be phased in in two waves. The online system checks eligibility with the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services.
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said this week the state might face some unintended consequences with its new immigration law. He said he wanted Georgia to be known as a state that was friendly and welcoming to people.
The state on Tuesday filed the motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed earlier this month by civil liberties groups. The civil liberties groups want a judge to declare Georgia's law unconstitutional and also to block it from being enforced.