State Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, has what may be the hottest bill of this legislation – an anti-illegal immigration measure that requires most businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to ascertain the legal residency of new hires.
Ramsey finished yet another revision of HB 87 on Saturday. This one’s likely to be voted out of committee on Monday. It hasn’t been posted on the official General Assembly website yet – but you can get your copy here.
If you see anything worth noting, please post a comment.
Here’s the assessment from my AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon:
State Rep. Matt Ramsey has revised his bill targeting illegal immigration to penalize people who “willfully and fraudulently” use fake identification to get a job in Georgia.
Such people could be charged with a felony — aggravated identity fraud — under the newly revised House Bill 87, Ramsey said Saturday in an e-mail.
Ramsey, a Republican from Peachtree City, also has added additional language to his bill, giving state and local government officials up to 30 days to move into compliance with existing state laws targeting illegal immigration before someone could sue them for violations.
And from the Associated Press:
“Through the hearing process, we kept hearing from folks about the problem caused by people who are seeking to gain employment and passing fraudulent identification on employers,” he said.
Ramsey looked at the identity theft statute and worked with prosecutors in the state to craft a provision that would make it a felony to present fraudulent identification documents or information for the purpose of gaining employment, he said.
The stiff penalty — one to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000 — is meant to help protect employers who don’t always recognize false documents and might sometimes find themselves unknowingly hiring illegal immigrants, he said.
Despite testimony from many groups and individuals expressing concern about a proposed requirement that all employers with more than five employees verify the immigration status of new hires by using a federal database called E-Verify, Ramsey said he’s not willing to budge.
“Illegal employment is clearly the root cause of illegal immigration, and if we don’t take a serious step in this state toward addressing illegal employment, we’re not going to ever get substantially at the problem,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider