Georgia Follows in the Anti-Immigrant Steps of Arizona
On April 14, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 87, which will allow for police to investigate the immigration status of suspects. The bill also establishes new guidelines for Georgia businesses to ensure that new employees are eligible to work in the country.
The House passed the bill in a 112 to 59 vote less than two hours before the session end.
The bill will now go to Gov. Nathan Deal, who expressed interest in bringing an Arizona-like bill to Georgia during his campaign last year and is likely to pass it.
Specifically, HB 87 will allow local and state police to arrest illegal immigrants. It would punish those who use fake identification to get a job in the state, by imposing fines of up to $250,000 or up to 15 years in prison. It would also target people who knowingly transport illegal immigrants or encourage them to come to Georgia.
The bill establishes a seven-member Immigration Enforcement Review Board to make sure that local and states officials are properly enforcing the law.
Many Georgians are worried that this bill will cause severe financial damage to the state’s economy, especially in the agricultural areas.
Georgia is among 30 states that are considering laws targeting illegal immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In total, 52 immigration bills have been introduced across the nation.
Arizona-like legislation has failed in 14 states including Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia. However, three have passed: Georgia's legislation as well as two bills in Utah.
EB2 Priority Date Advances for India
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the much-anticipated May 2011 bulletin. As expected, EB2 India advanced for the first time in fiscal year 2011, which started on October 1, 2010. However, many were hoping for a more significant advancement.
The EB2 category remains current for all countries of chargeability except India and China. The cutoff date for EB2 India moves forward by approximately two months, with a new cutoff date of July 1, 2006. This movement was preceded by official announcements regarding the anticipated forward movement. This movement is generated by the low demand for EB1 numbers, and the transfer of 12,000 excess EB1 numbers to EB2. These numbers become available to EB2, to the benefit of cases chargeable to India, as the oversubscribed country with cases with the oldest priority dates. Thus, these extra numbers served to nudge the EB2 cutoff date a bit forward after many months of stagnation for Indian nationals. The fiscal year is not over until September 30, 2011, so we can still hope for more progress.
For June and July 2011, it is predicted that India’s EB2 cutoff date will move by one or more weeks each month, with possible additional movement depending upon demand. The DOS cannot predict the cutoff date movement for August and September 2011 yet for either India or China. China’s cutoff date for June and July could move from zero to three weeks each month.
VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR MAY 2011
FAMILY India Pakistan/Bangladesh
1st 01May04 01May04
2A 08Jun07 08Jun07
2B 15Apr03 15Apr03
3rd 01May01 01May01
4th 08Mar00 08Mar00
EMPLOYMENT India Pakistan/Bangladesh
1st Current Current
2nd 01July06 Current
3rd 15Apr02 22Aug05
Other 15Apr02 08Sep03
4th Current Current
5th Current Current1B
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