Governor Presented With Immigration Reform Bill

( – Twelve states, the District of Columbia, and 153 municipalities list themselves as sanctuary destinations. That means their respective governments limit their cooperation with immigration authorities. Those sanctuaries are overwhelmingly blue. Georgia’s legislature recently presented Republican Gov. Brian Kemp with an immigration reform bill expanding cooperation between local and federal officials.

On March 28, the Republican-led Georgia House passed the state’s Criminal Alien Track and Report Act of 2024 (HB 1105) by a vote of 99 to 75, the last day of the State Assembly’s legislative session. The state’s GOP-controlled Senate passed the measure 34 to 19 on March 21.

HB 1105 now heads to Kemp’s desk. His office hasn’t reacted to the measure’s passage. However, he has previously expressed his support for stricter immigration policy enforcement. Political watchers expect him to sign the bill into law.

The bill requires state and local law enforcement officials to perform certain checks when an arrest is made before releasing the individual on a citation. For instance, officers must review the “accused’s criminal record” with the FBI and the Georgia Crime Information Center and take the suspect’s fingerprints. Likewise, officials “shall seek to verify” detainees/arrestee’s immigration status.

Additionally, HB 1105 requires local jailers and Georgia Department of Corrections officials to check the immigration status of detainees/inmates and cooperate with federal immigration officials. State officials who fail to work with federal officers and agencies could face misdemeanor charges. Local law enforcement officials violating the law’s mandate could lose state funding.

Georgia officials have long supported efforts by local and state authorities to reinforce federal immigration laws and cooperate with federal enforcement efforts. Kemp recently sent Georgia National Guard members to help secure the Texas border.

Support for HB 1105 gained traction after the February beating death of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old Augusta University nursing student while she was jogging on the University of Georgia campus. The suspect in that brutal crime is an illegal migrant from Venezuela.

Copyright 2024,