Atlanta Immigration Attorney Karen Weinstock Explains How HB87 Affect All Georgians.
Atlanta, GA, July, 2011 –
Georgia new immigration (really it is an anti immigration) law, HB87, took effect on July 1, 2011 and many people ask what it means for them and how it affects them.
“Basically Federal Judge Thrash issued an injunction against the governor of Georgia to stop some of HB87′s provisions from being implemented as unconstitutional after the ACLU and other organizations sued the state. Sections 7 and 8 of HB87 were stopped but the other provisions of HB87 remain intact so far”, reports Georgia immigration lawyer Karen Weinstock.
“Because of the injunction, the police cannot ask for your immigration documents of individuals starting July 1 until and if an appeal by the state of Georgia is reversed by a higher court” said Karen Weinstock, Georgia immigration attorney and the managing attorney of the atlanta immigration law firm Siskind Susser.
“However, that does not apply to 287(g) counties because those counties’ police departments have separate agreements with the federal government to implement immigration laws. Counties that participate in Georgia in the 287(g) program include Cobb and Gwinnett counties around the metro Atlanta area. Police cannot just stop a person on the street without probably cause but if police stops a person for example for a traffic offense such as speeding, if it happens in Cobb, Gwinnett or other 287(g) counties they can ask for the person’s immigration status and move to detain that person if he or she is illegally in the country”, added the Atlanta immigration lawyer.
“Harboring is another crime that was stopped by the federal court. Harboring is generally a federal crime that deals with unlawfully helping people to enter the U.S. (such as coyotes) and people who transport and house people who unlawfully entered during the entry period (such as drivers of trucks that are used to smuggle people)”, explained the Atlanta Immigration attorney Karen Weinstock.
“Under HB87 another crime was created in Georgia which would occur when a person transports or provides shelter to an illegal immigrant while committing another crime. So for example if a U.S. citizen is driving his undocumented immigrant wife while speeding on the street, the harboring provision would have applied. However, the judge stopped section 7 of HB87 from being implemented, police cannot prosecute people for that crime as of July 1, unless an appeals courts reverses the decision”, added the Georgia immigration lawyer.
“HB 87 also created a new offense of “aggravated identity fraud” for anyone who uses false identification for purposes of obtaining employment. For example, if a person uses a fake green card or fake social security number to obtain a job after July 1, 2011, they may be guilty of a felony in Georgia which may impose fines of up to $250,000 and 15 years in prison or both” explained Karen Weinstock, the Georgia immigration attorney. “It is not a felony in Georgia if the person used fake documents to obtain a job prior to July 1, 2011 but continues to work there after July 1, 2011, but because the federal courts did not prohibit this section, it is valid right now unless there is a new challenge”, added the Georgia immigration law firm partner.
“Another important provisions for Georgians and Georgia businesses is the mandatory E-Verify requirements for all companies with over 10 employees. If a business does not comply with the mandatory E-Verify requirement, the state can invalidate its business license. Georgia employers must comply and Georgia employees including U.S. citizens should have all their paperwork in order including name changes in the Social Security office to prevent the E-Verify system from invalidating them”, concluded the Atlanta immigration law attorney.
Media Contact: Karen Weinstock
Kweinstock (at) visalaw (dot) com