Judge Hears Arguments On Immigration Law Challenge

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    different policy in every county. He also questioned the motive behind the law. Orland responded that it was to prevent the state from continuing to spend money on illegal immigrants.

    ”So they’re supposed to go somewhere else with their husbands, their wives, their children, even though some of them may be U.S. citizens?” Thrash asked.

    Thrash later questioned provisions dealing with people who harbor or transport illegal immigrants, raising a hypothetical scenario of an 18-year-old U.S. citizen who gets pulled over for speeding while driving his mother, an illegal immigrant, to the store.

    ”It would be no different if his mother had pockets full of cocaine and he was knowingly transporting her to go sell it,” Orland said, later adding: ”Sometimes the law is harsh. There is no question about that. That does not make it unconstitutional.”

    Orland also said that other parts of the law would actually protect illegal immigrants from exploitation, and that parts of the state policy mirror federal immigration law.

    Jadwat argued that the state isn’t mirroring federal law because the Georgia law gives local officers such broad enforcement discretion, and that the state is not authorized to enforce certain parts of federal law.

    Georgia’s law has provisions similar to those in laws enacted in Arizona, Utah and Indiana.

    A federal judge blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s law last year after the U.S. Department of Justice sued, arguing that only the federal government can regulate immigration. A federal appeals court judge upheld the decision, and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has said she plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    A federal judge also has temporarily blocked Utah’s law, citing similarities to the most controversial parts of Arizona’s law. A hearing is set for mid-July to determine if the law can take effect. And in Indiana, a federal judge on Monday heard arguments on whether that state’s law can take effect next month. Like in Georgia, that judge listened to the arguments and said she’d rule before the law is set to take effect July 1.

    Another section of the Georgia law set to be phased in starting in January will require many businesses to check the immigration status of new hires. A separate Arizona law with the same requirement was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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