State Sen. Jack Murphy, a Republican Georgia state lawmaker who is a known proponent of cracking down on unauthorized immigrant workers is scheduled to propose a measure targeting such employees.
The Republican lawmaker earlier proposed a bill that required all businesses to use a federal database called E-Verify to make sure new hires are authorized to work in the United States.
Murphy said he wants violators to first receive warnings. Subsequent offenses would be punished with fines or the revocation of a business license.
His proposal will be scrutinized by Georgia farmers who rely on illegal immigrants to harvest labor-intensive crops.
The Georgia Farm Bureau has said that immigration is an issue reserved for the federal government, not state leaders.At its annual convention this year, the farmers group approved a resolution objecting to any measure that “discriminates against the farm worker” and puts farmers at a competitive disadvantage.
Like many states this year, the Georgia legislature is considering other immigration-related measures.
Georgia has an estimated 425,000 unauthorized immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Like many states, its unauthorized population declined between 2009 and 2007, when it was about 475,000. It has held steady since 2009, according to a recent Pew report.
This is based on a story by The Associated Press.