Georgia’s Immigration Law to be Revisited in Federal Appeals Court

In March of this year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals put a challenge to Georgia’s immigration law on hold, pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination on the constitutionality of Arizona’s immigration law. Last month, the Supreme Court struck down three of the four provisions in Arizona’s law, upholding the most controversial part of the statute which requires police to determine the immigration status of a person if they have “reasonable suspicion” that they are in the country illegally. 
Now that the Supreme Court has spoken, it is up to the 11th Circuit to decide whether Georgia can begin enforcing its own law. Although it is unclear when this decision will come, legal briefs from both sides were filed in court this past Friday. 

Receiving the most attention in the Georgia law is a section which would allow state and local police to investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot produce identification or provide other information that could help police identify them. Also at issue is a provision that would punish those who knowingly harbor or transport illegal immigrants in the state while committing another crime.

The State of Georgia believes the law should be upheld in light of the striking similarities it bears to Arizona’s “show-me-your-papers law” which was upheld by Supreme Court decision. Opponents of Georgia’s law says the 11th Circuit should affirm the holds placed on the law arguing that the Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s law sets clear limits on the state’s authority.

Georgia is not the only state having to reassess their immigration laws. Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah have also passed immigration-enforcement laws of their own and must now assess what impact the U.S. Supreme Court ruling has on them.

(c) Picture:  Georgia flag
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