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The "Hunt for Immigrants" in Georgia -Congress Wants to Make it Legal to Discriminate, Deport Minorities.

Georgia's Insidious “Hunt for Immigrant” Legislation

The Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act, HB 1105, was introduced in the Georgia House chamber on January 31, 2024.

HB 1105 gained traction in the Georgia legislature after the death of a 22 year old UGA nursing student, Laken Riley. The main suspect in Riley’s killing, Jose Ibarra, is said to have entered the country illegally in 2022, and now faces multiple murder and assault charges. 

Following Riley’s death, HB 1105 was passed in the Georgia House on February 29, 2024, with the intent of cracking down on immigration policies and preventing such “avoidable crime.”

HB 1105 is headed for further deliberation in the Georgia Senate who now have until Georgia’s last day of session (sine die), on March 28, 2024 to oppose or vote in favor of the bill. 

If passed, HB 1105 would mandate, rather than encourage, that local agencies, state agencies, and law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with, and enter into agreements with, federal immigration authorities.

It would permit law enforcement officers to arrest, with probable cause, any person suspected of being an “illegal alien.” Failure to comply could result in penalties such as withholding funds from local and state agencies. Further, sheriffs who neglect to investigate the immigration status of a suspected “illegal alien” could be guilty of a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor of an aggravated nature.  

Currently, some cities, such as Athen-Clarke County, limit their coordination with immigration authorities, and refuse to keep people in jail after completing their sentences.

Therefore, refusing to jail immigrants and nonimmigrants if they have no criminal history. HB 1105 would mandate that county jails, and police officials screen all “suspected foreign nationals” for their immigration status. Further, it would require that jails detain “illegal aliens” who have completed their sentence, or have no outstanding arrests, for further detainment by immigration authorities.

In such a critical time, Georgia lawmakers should not use Riley’s death as a political tactic to drive a xenophobic and discriminatory anti-immigrant agenda.

HB 1105 is a “hunt for immigrant” bill that overburdens county jails, places unnecessary pressure on police officials, and leads to illegal racial profiling of Hispanic and Latinx communities. Further, this bill invites error, separates families and distorts local law enforcement priorities.

Responsibility for this egregious crime rests solely with the perpetrator, and not the million immigrants, who have collectively added great value to our state. 

This forceful intrusion is unnecessary, unwarranted, and does not reflect a current need to crack down on immigrants in Georgia. The crimes committed by one individual should not be used to generalize entire communities. In fact, many studies have found that immigrants are less drawn to violent crime than native-born citizens. Immigrants make up Georgia’s workforce, contribute to Georgia's economic growth, and contribute to state and local taxes. Georgia is home to over 1 million immigrants, who in 2021, collectively paid over $11.4 billion in taxes. 

We supports bills that would help end violence against women and keep all Georgians safe.

We believe in everyone’s fundamental right to live in safe and sustainable communities. Unfortunately, HB 1105 is not the solution. HB 1105 would weaken community trust and relationships with law enforcement, harm families and communities of color, and promote racial profiling.

We oppose HB 1105 and stands in solidarity with Hispanic, Latinx, and communities of color. We stand with the numerous Hispanic and Latinx organizations that have spoken out against HB 1105 for its stigmatization of communities of color, and discriminatory anti-immigrant agenda. 

We ask that you make your voice heard!

Contact your Georgia Senator and urge them to VOTE NO in opposition to HB 1105. To find your representative, please go to My Voter Page. 

Please join us in the fight for our rights and lives, sign up to be a SisterLove E-advocate today. 


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