2/11 – AJC – House panel gets more immigration bill input | ajc.com

House panel gets more immigration bill input  | ajc.com

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A legislative panel wrapped up its third and final public hearing Friday on an Arizona-style bill targeting illegal immigration.

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee heard from more than 20 speakers about House Bill 87. A committee vote has not been scheduled yet.

The bill’s author, meanwhile, said he is continuing to work on changes to the legislation. Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, said the latest changes he is considering are mostly technical.

“We are still making some revisions to parts of the bill,” he said in an interview after the committee hearing. “It is slow because the Legislative Counsel office is just swamped right now with everybody’s bills.”

Some of the speakers Friday argued for HB 87, complaining illegal immigrants are taking advantage of taxpayer-funded resources and are taking jobs from state residents.  Other speakers on Friday argued against HB 87 on legal and moral grounds, saying it is pre-empted by federal law and unchristian.

Similar to Arizona’s law, Ramsey’s bill would require police to investigate the immigration status of certain people they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. It also would authorize police to arrest them if they are in the country illegally and transport them to a federal jail. Further, the bill would require certain private businesses to ensure their newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States.

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