Despite threats of court challenges and economic boycotts, Georgia governor Nathan Deal has signed into law one of the nation’s most toughest and controversial immigration enforcement measures. Georgia’s House Bill 87 is partly modeled on a controversial immigration law passed by Arizona last year.
The AJC reports that House Bill 87 empowers police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects. The measure also sets new hiring requirements for employers and penalizes people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants in Georgia, which according to estimates is the seventh-highest among the states with approximately 425,000 illegals.
Deal campaigned for governor last year on bringing tough, Arizona-style immigration laws to Georgia and called the bill a historic moment, while opponents of the measure said they are working on drafting a lawsuit to challenge the law. Opponents of the bill also argue that like Arizona, Georgia’s bill will lead to economic boycotts of the state.
Last year, a federal judge put some of the most controversial parts of Arizona’s law on hold after the Obama administration argued they were pre-empted by federal law.
President Barack Obama recently called Georgia’s HB 87 a “mistake.”