Proposed Georgia bill could cut down illegal workers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Proposed Georgia bill could cut down illegal workers

By Mackenzie Patterson - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A Georgia lawmaker is pushing for stricter policies preventing employers hiring illegal immigrants.  According to an article by the Associated Press, Georgia State Senator Jack Murphy filed the legislation today that would require employers to use a federal database called E-Verify that would to check if new hires are in the country legally or illegally. 

Catherine Mobilian owns a small business in Columbus. She does not use a database to check her employee's legality in the country.  For now, she just sticks to paperwork.  However, that might all change if lawmakers on Georgia's Capitol pass a bill cracking down on illegal immigrants in the work force.  Mobilian said the change might be a good for employers especially if it can save time.

"Depends on how much time it is going to take that small as a small or medium sized employer. I mean the paperwork is cumbersome anyway, so I would give it a shot," said Mobilian.

But for those employers who do not cooperate, the bill would include repercussions such as fines and possibly losing their business license. 

Mobilian said the bill takes away some of the stress an employer feels when trying to make sure everything is legal.

"It takes that guess work out of the company's hands.  Instead of making them say yes this is a valid document but going to a database to see are they a valid person," explained Mobilian.

Critics of the Georgia bill said that it would discriminate against workers on a farm.  Some also have their doubts about relying so much on technology.

"You never get to verify them because that database is not kept up.  That's where I foresee problems," said Mobilian.

The bill would include some exemptions for immigrants with work visas: one for seasonal workers, another for highly specialized workers, and short-term work that is not agricultural.

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