JANUARY 28, 2009
Nearly two years after Georgia passed a sweeping law to curb its fast-growing illegal immigration crisis, the measure has yet to be enforced because the legislature never provided the funds or resources to do it.
Intended to prevent illegal aliens from earning wages provided by taxpayer dollars, the 2006 Immigration Security and Compliance Act requires all state government agencies to verify that employees are legal U.S. residents with a federal database. It also orders government contractors and subcontractors to do the same.
Other provisions of the measure, which stirred controversy nationwide before passage, call for local police departments throughout the Peach State to report illegal immigrants arrested for felonies to federal authorities and for local municipalities to assure they’re not giving illegal aliens public assistance such as welfare.
Sounds simple enough but an Atlanta newspaper reports that the state has been neglectful in its duties, failing to enforce the law or even bother checking whether local governments and businesses are complying. Those that violate it face no consequences, according to the alarming report.
The reason is that the legislature never allocated the money to monitor the law’s enforcement, so it’s essentially a symbolic and worthless piece of paper filed in the state capitol. The state agency—Georgia Department of Labor—that supposedly sets the guidelines for implementing the measure is clueless about what city and county governments are actually complying.
In fact, a Department of Labor spokesman said the agency has no enforcement responsibilities but it offered to do random audits if it received funding. The money never came so the audits were never performed.
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