4/13 – ajc.com (AP) – Ga. has 1 more day to tackle immigration bill | ajc.com

Ga. has 1 more day to tackle immigration bill  | ajc.com.

National / World News 7:46 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Georgia has a day left to pass an immigration bill that has some parts similar to Arizona’s contentious law.

FILE – In this April 5, 2011 file photo, illegal immigrant Virdiana Martinez, right, is comforted by activist Mohammad Abdollahi, before Martinez is arrested during a protest for rights for higher education for illegal immigrants that blocked traffic in Atlanta. Georgia lawmakers have one more day to push through a tough, Arizona-like immigration law, but opposition from farmers and business groups make it an uphill battle even with Republicans in control. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

FILE – In this April 5, 2011 file photo, illegal immigrant Virdiana Martinez, right, is comforted by activist Mohammad Abdollahi, as Major K. E. Williams, left, of the Atlanta Police Department warns her of arrest unless she moves while protesting for rights for higher education for illegal immigrants in Atlanta. Georgia lawmakers have one more day to push through a tough, Arizona-like immigration law, but opposition from farmers and business groups make it an uphill battle even with Republicans in control. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

FILE – In a Jan. 27, 2011 file photo, Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, right, author of one of two comprehensive immigration bills, speaks with Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, at the state Capital, in Atlanta. Georgia lawmakers have one more day to push through a tough, Arizona-like immigration law, but opposition from farmers and business groups make it an uphill battle even with Republicans in control. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

During months of public debate and private discussion, opposition from agriculture and business groups has made it an uphill battle even with Republicans in control.

A major sticking point is whether the law should force private employers to check the immigration status of new hires.

Other parts of the bill would let police check the immigration status of certain suspects and penalize people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants. That’s similar to language that has tied up Arizona’s law in the courts.

With the state’s budget sent to the governor, immigration is the last major issue remaining for legislators. Whether the bill will be watered down is up in the air.

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