Arguing that the federal government has not done enough to protect the country’s borders, Georgia on Thursday followed Arizona’s lead in passing tough legislation aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.
Both chambers of the state legislature passed a bill modeled on Arizona’s controversial immigration law, requiring businesses to confirm that new hires are legally eligible to work in the United States and authorizing police to check the immigration status of some criminal suspects.
The Georgia state Senate voted 37-19 in favor of the bill and, coming down to the wire at the end of a legislative session, the House voted 112-59 to pass it.
Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who campaigned on passing an immigration law based on Arizona’s, has since flagged in his support, saying that an immigration law should not place an “undue burden” on employers. His office would not say Thursday whether he will sign the bill into law.