In the chapel of the University of Georgia last night, U.S. Rep. John Lewis ripped into Georgia’s new illegal immigration measure, declaring that the act passed by the Legislature last week resembles the South’s old Jim Crow laws and South Africa’s apartheid statutes.
Georgia’s new law authorizes state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants and sets penalties of up to a $250,000 fine and 15 years in prison for anyone who uses a fake ID to get a job.
“We can be arrested and taken to jail until we prove who we are,” said Lewis, one of the leaders of America’s civil rights struggles 50 years ago and now in his 25th year in the House of Representatives. “This is a recipe for discrimination. We’ve come too far to return to the dark past.”
Before its passage, state lawmakers removed a provision that allowed law enforcement officers to stop suspected illegal immigrants without probable cause. As written, police officers would have to have suspicion that another crime has taken place.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider