Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Some Good Points from the Georgia Immigration Law

Compiled by Frosty Wooldridge

Section 1 of the bill establishes that the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act shall be construed to conform to federal immigration law.

Section 2 provides that on or after July 1, 2007, all public employers and those working on public contracts must begin to register and participate in the federal work authorization program. This program is operated by the Department of Homeland Security and verifies the legal status of a person to be employed in the United States.

Section 3 states that any person who is convicted of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude shall be found guilty of a felony and required to serve a prison sentence of at least one and no more than 20 years. Any person convicted of the same offense, however the victim is a minor, shall serve a prison sentence of at least 10 and no more than 20 years.

Section 4 provides that the Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety must establish a "memorandum of understanding" between the state, U.S. Dept. of Justice or Homeland Security concerning the enforcement of immigration laws. Certain police officers shall be trained in accordance with the "memorandum of understanding" and shall be authorized to enforce federal immigration and custom laws.

Section 5 provides that an officer must make a reasonable effort to determine the nationality of any person charged and arrested for a felony or DUI. If the prisoner is a foreign national, the officer must verify their lawful status either through documents in possession of the prisoner or a query to the Law Enforcement Support Center. If it is found that the prisoner is not lawfully present in the U.S., the arresting officer or officer in charge shall notify the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

Section 6 establishes the "Registration of Immigration Assistance Act." This Act specifies exactly what actions a person who is not an attorney can take in assisting illegal immigrants with gaining legal status. Apparently people are claiming that they can assist illegal immigrants in becoming legal citizens and charging people fees for legal assistance and advice, however they have no authority to give such assistance or advice. Any person convicted of violating this section may be fined up to $1,000.00 per violation.

Section 7 provides that after January 1, 2008 no compensation over $600.00 per year for labor services to a person who has not been verified to legally to work in the U.S. can be claimed as a deductible business expense for state income taxes, regardless if the individual is issued a IRS 1099 Form. The Georgia Commissioner of Revenue is authorized to create forms to be used in order to verify the legal status of an employee.

Section 8 states that a withholding agent is required to withhold 6% state income tax of an individual whose wages are reported on a 1099 Form and who has failed to provide a valid taxpayer identification number.

Section 9 states that any person applying for state or local public benefits, who is 18 years or older, must execute an affidavit that he or she is a legal citizen or lawfully present in the U.S. For any applicant that has indicated that they are an alien lawfully present in the U.S., the agency must verify that person's status through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement Federal program. Any person who knowingly provides false information on this affidavit shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction, pay a fine of no more than $1,000.00 or be sentenced to imprisonment of no more than one year. Exceptions for this verification process include: federal exceptions such as emergency care, assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable and communicable diseases, soup kitchens, and pre-natal care.

No comments:

Post a Comment