A federal appeals court issued a ruling that struck down part and upheld part of the Georgia Immigration law yesterday. The court said that the sections of the law dealing with police asking for documentation of legal status when there is probable cause was upheld. This is one of the more controversial provisions in the law and has been argued that it will lead to racial profiling of Latinos in Georgia.
In the same ruling though, the court struck down another controversial section of the law dealing with knowingly harboring, transporting illegal immigrants or inducing illegal immigrants to come to Georgia. This has given many in the agricultural and religious communities heartburn in that there are more than one type of “knowingly”. The concern is that farmers would be held responsible for “harboring” even if they had fired the individual when they found out they were illegal or if they came to the state for work at a farm but could not be put to work because they were not authorized, the farmer still induced the person to come to GA. Churches were concerned that taking migrant workers to church or for medical care would be considered “transporting” under the law and be held criminally accountable.
This ruling was not entirely unexpected given the recent court rulings on the Arizona case.
We will continue to monitor issues that come up on immigration across the region and get the information to you as soon as possible.