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Judge Halts Parts of Georgia's Anti-Immigration Law

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http://www.ajc.com/n...-of-989631.html

Monday, June 27, 2011

Judge halts parts of anti-immigration law

By Jeremy Redmon

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge on Monday put on hold some of the most controversial parts of Georgia's new anti-illegal immigration law pending the outcome

of a lawsuit challenging it's constitutionality. The judge upheld other provisions, prompting both sides in the debate over illegal immigration

in Georgia to claim victory.

This is the fourth time a state immigration enforcement law has been put on hold since last year. States frustrated with what they consider

lax federal enforcement of the nation's immigration laws have adopted their own. But federal judges in Arizona, Indiana and Utah have halted

similar laws in those states following constitutional challenges.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash's 45-page ruling sharply criticizes state officials for making an end-run around federal

law. That provoked a stinging response from Gov. Nathan Deal's office Monday, which said the state would appeal Thrash's decision to halt two

sections of the law that were supposed to go into effect Friday. One of those provisions would empower police to investigate the

immigration status of suspects who they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot produce identification, such as a driver's

license, or provide other information that could help police identify them. The other part would punish people who -– while committing another

offense -- knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants or encourage them to come here.

The judge said the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil and immigrant rights groups who are suing to block the law have shown they

are likely to succeed in arguments that these provisions are preempted by federal law.

At the same time, Thrash threw out several other arguments from the ACLU's lawsuit, including complaints that the new law would violate

constitutional rights to travel and equal protection. The ACLU and other critics trumpeted how they had at least temporarily stopped what

they called the key parts of the law. They argued these provisions would promote racial profiling and violate civil rights.

"The judge recognized the serious flaws in the law in his decision," said Omar Jadwat, staff counsel for the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights

Project.

On the other side, supporters of the law highlighted how Thrash left most of Georgia's measure intact, including a provision that would

require many Georgia businesses to use the federal E-Verify system. That system helps companies ensure their newly hired employees are eligible

to work in the United States.

Proponents say Georgia needed to act because the federal government has failed to secure the nation's borders, allowing illegal immigrants

to stream into this state and burden its public schools, jails and hospitals. "E-Verify is kind of the tent pole of the whole legislation to me,"

said the law's author, Republican state Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City. "We know the No. 1 incentive that exists for illegal aliens to

come to Georgia is access to private sector jobs."

In his ruling, Thrash said the section of the law that gives local and state police authority to investigate the immigration status of

certain suspects an end-run around federal law that defines the role of state and local officers in immigration enforcement. He also questioned

the discretion that part of Georgia's law would give local and state police.

"Such discretion poses a serious risk that HB87 will result in inconsistent civil immigration policies not only between federal and

state governments, but among law enforcement jurisdictions within Georgia," the judge wrote. "That risk is compounded by the threat of

other states creating their own immigration laws."

Thrash added that same provision of the law will "convert many routine encounters with law enforcement into lengthy and intrusive

immigration status investigations" and burden federal authorities who are ultimately responsible for doing the immigration status checks.

Further, Thrash raised concerns about how the law would affect foreign relations. He noted how Mexico and several other nations have

filed court papers in support of the ACLU's lawsuit. "These international relations concerns underscore the conflict between HB87 and

federal immigration law," Thrash wrote. "The conflict is not a purely speculative and indirect impact on immigration. It is direct and immediate."

Thrash called the belief by some that the federal government is doing nothing about illegal immigration a "belief in a myth." He cited

statistics showing the federal government deports hundreds of illegal immigrants daily. And he scoffed at a claim from state officials that

Georgia's law would help protect illegal immigrants from exploitation, calling their claim "gross hypocrisy." "The apparent legislative intent

is to create such a climate of hostility, fear, mistrust and insecurity that all illegal aliens will leave Georgia," Thrash said.

A spokesman for Deal -- who signed the measure into law last month -- criticized the judge's ruling Monday."Curiously, the court writes

'all illegal aliens will leave Georgia' if the law is enforced, as if it is appalled at the thought of people attaining visas before coming to our nation,"

said Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal. "The federal court's ruling, however, will crystallize for Georgians and other Americans our

underlying problem: Beyond refusing to help with our state's illegal immigration problem, the federal government is determined to be an obstacle.

"The state of Georgia narrowly tailored its immigration law to conform with existing federal law and court rulings. Georgians can rest

assured that this battle doesn't end here; we will appeal this decision."


“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Absolutely appalling to one who suffered much delay in own legal immigration process (and as result, having to put off any long-range plans)!


2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

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http://beta.news.yahoo.com/judge-blocks-parts-ga-immigration-law-183834573.html

By GREG BLUESTEIN - Associated Press,KATE BRUMBACK - Associated Press | AP – 7 hrs ago

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked parts of Georgia's strict new law targeting illegal immigration from taking effect, including a provision that authorizes police to check the immigration status of suspects without proper identification and to detain illegal immigrants.

Georgia's became the latest in a string of state laws that have been at least temporarily stopped by legal challenges. All or parts of similar laws in Arizona, Utah and Indiana also have been blocked by federal judges.

Judge Thomas Thrash also granted a request from civil liberties groups to block a part of Georgia's law that penalizes people who knowingly and willingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants while committing another crime.

"The defendants wildly exaggerate the scope of the federal crime of harboring under (the law) when they claim that the Plaintiffs are violating federal immigration law by giving rides to their friends and neighbors who are illegal aliens," he said.

The judge was especially critical of that provision, blasting the state's assertion that federal immigration enforcement is "passive." Thrash noted that federal immigration officers remove more than 900 foreign citizens from the country on an average day.

He also wrote that the state measure would overstep the enforcement boundaries established by federal law. Thrash noted that there are thousands of illegal immigrants in Georgia because of the "insatiable demand in decades gone by for cheap labor" in the agriculture and construction industries. But he said the federal government gives priority to prosecuting and removing illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.

The civil liberties groups had sued to have those and other provisions blocked before they took effect Friday, though Thrash did toss parts of that lawsuit. The groups had argued that the law allows unreasonable seizures; blocks a constitutional right to travel; and restricts access to government services on the basis of national origin. The judge dismissed those claims, along with allegations the measure violates property rights and the state constitution.

Nonetheless, the groups hailed the ruling.

"This is a victory that matches the trend nationally. It should send a really strong signal to other states considering such laws," said Karen Tumlin, a lawyer for the National Immigration Law Center.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement his office plans to appeal the court's ruling. He said he was pleased that parts of the lawsuit were dismissed.

The law's main sponsor, Republican state Rep. Matt Ramsey, called the judge's ruling a temporary setback.

The judge also was concerned about the wider implications of the law on trade and diplomatic relations, which were laid out by Mexican officials in court documents.

"The conflict is not a purely speculative and indirect impact on immigration. It is direct and immediate," he wrote.

The federal judge also accused the state of "gross hypocrisy" in its argument that Georgia's crackdown would prevent the exploitation of illegal immigrants.

"The apparent legislative intent is to create such a climate of hostility, fear, mistrust and insecurity that all illegal aliens will leave Georgia," he said.

"Curiously, the court writes 'all illegal aliens will leave Georgia' if the law is enforced, as if it is appalled at the thought of people attaining visas before coming to our nation," said Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

Similar laws elsewhere have met similar fates. A federal judge has blocked the most controversial parts of the law in Arizona, where Gov. Jan Brewer has said she plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Utah, a federal judge temporarily blocked that state's law last month. A hearing is set for mid-July to determine if the law can go into effect. And on Friday, a federal judge blocked parts of Indiana's law.

On Friday, many parts of the law will take effect. Among them is one that makes it a felony with hefty penalties to use false information or documentation when applying for a job. Another creates an immigration review board to investigate complaints about government officials not complying with state laws related to illegal immigration.

Starting Jan. 1, businesses with 500 or more employees will have to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires, a requirement that will be phased in for all businesses with more than 10 employees by July 2013. Also starting Jan. 1, applicants for public benefits will have to provide at least one state or federally issued "secure and verifiable" document.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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Not surprising. They same hooligans that drafted the Arizona law have gone around the country to various states and attempted to get similar laws written and passed. Our beloved Constitution prevails.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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Not surprising. They same hooligans that drafted the Arizona law have gone around the country to various states and attempted to get similar laws written and passed. Our beloved Constitution prevails.

And slavery is protected again. Why are you against minimum wage Steven?


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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duplicate thread moved from P & R and merged with existing thread in Immigration News and Discussion forum


“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

5892822976_477b1a77f7_z.jpg

Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

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Eventually these state legislators are going to learn the difference between what is in the federal domain, and what is in the state's domain. Immigration is federal, not state. States have no right to legislate immigration. The federal government has done a terrible job of controlling illegal immigration, but the solution is not for the states to overstep.


“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.” — Emerson

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Eventually these state legislators are going to learn the difference between what is in the federal domain, and what is in the state's domain. Immigration is federal, not state. States have no right to legislate immigration. The federal government has done a terrible job of controlling illegal immigration, but the solution is not for the states to overstep.
I was under the impression they actually know--and basically, they decided "feds skyve so we need to do the job!".

2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

Share this post


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Eventually these state legislators are going to learn the difference between what is in the federal domain, and what is in the state's domain. Immigration is federal, not state. States have no right to legislate immigration. The federal government has done a terrible job of controlling illegal immigration, but the solution is not for the states to overstep.
I was under the impression they actually know--and basically, they decided "feds skyve so we need to do the job!".

2005/07/10 I-129F filed for Pras

2005/11/07 I-129F approved, forwarded to NVC--to Chennai Consulate 2005/11/14

2005/12/02 Packet-3 received from Chennai

2005/12/21 Visa Interview Date

2006/04/04 Pras' entry into US at DTW

2006/04/15 Church Wedding at Novi (Detroit suburb), MI

2006/05/01 AOS Packet (I-485/I-131/I-765) filed at Chicago

2006/08/23 AP and EAD approved. Two down, 1.5 to go

2006/10/13 Pras' I-485 interview--APPROVED!

2006/10/27 Pras' conditional GC arrives -- .5 to go (2 yrs to Conditions Removal)

2008/07/21 I-751 (conditions removal) filed

2008/08/22 I-751 biometrics completed

2009/06/18 I-751 approved

2009/07/03 10-year GC received; last 0.5 done!

2009/07/23 Pras files N-400

2009/11/16 My 46TH birthday, Pras N-400 approved

2010/03/18 Pras' swear-in

---------------------------------------------------------------------

As long as the LORD's beside me, I don't care if this road ever ends.

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I was under the impression they actually know--and basically, they decided "feds skyve so we need to do the job!".

Probably...but all they wound up doing was costing the state a ton of money in lawyers plus all the time wasted in legislation. And it's not like Georgia has money to burn.


“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.” — Emerson

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