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Is Georgia the New Arizona?

By: Humera Subhani Email By: Humera Subhani
April 2011
Is Georgia the New Arizona? House Bill 87, which has been likened to the Arizona immigration law, was passed 113-56 and goes to the state Senate. Under the measure, Georgia companies would be required to use E-Verify, a federal database, to check the documentation of current and prospective employees. That database had been created by Congress as a voluntary, discretionary resource.

The bill criminalizes the transportation of illegal immigrants and allows law enforcement officials to check the legal status of people in custody in certain situations. Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill would encourage racial profiling and would harm the state's economy, particularly the sizable agricultural industry. About 200 people outside the state Capitol protested against the legislation, calling on Gov. Nathan Deal to veto it if it gets to his desk.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Matt Ramsey, a Peachtree City Republican.

DUI Bill Passes State Senate

The Georgia state Senate has also voted to pass a bill that would make driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs a felony for illegal immigrants. The bill passed by a vote of 35 to 18, largely along party lines. Democrats tried unsuccessfully to table the legislation before the vote. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

"This targets an offense by someone who is already showing a disregard for the law by being in the country illegally," said the bill's sponsor, state Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick. He added that DUI "carries particular risk to law-abiding citizens in the state."

In Georgia, DUI is a misdemeanor on the first two convictions, a high and aggravated misdemeanor on the third conviction and a felony on the fourth and subsequent convictions. Ligon's bill would make it felony on the first conviction for illegal immigrants only.

Georgia would be the first state to pass such a statute. Many believe that this violates the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.

Limited Operations at U.S. Consulate, Mumbai

The U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India, is experiencing a temporary reduction in capacity, as of March 3, 2011. The condition of the building has made it necessary to close several interview windows at the Consulate, thus limiting the volume of applicants who can be interviewed each day. As a result, the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai will no longer be interviewing applicants for either H or L visas.

Individuals who have already made appointments for H or L visa interviews may keep those appointments. The Consulate will honor the interview dates and timings already confirmed. The change simply means that there will not be any new H or L appointments scheduled. Individuals applying for H or L visas within India may make appointments at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, or at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

The United States is in the process of constructing a new building for the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, to replace the current one.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR APRIL 2011

FAMILY                    India                                     Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                        01May04                                           01May04

2A                               01Apr07                                             01Apr07        

2B                               15Apr03                                              15Apr03

3rd                              15Mar01                                             01Mar01        

4th                               01Feb00                                           01Feb00

 

EMPLOYMENT        India                                     Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                         Current                                              Current

2nd                      08May06                                            Current

3rd                              08Apr02                                             22Jul05

Other                          08Apr02                                        22Jul03

4th                               Current                                              Current

5th                               Current                                              Current1B


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