Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill on Friday, that cracks down on illegal immigration. The legislation will require employers to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires. It also authorizes law enforcement to check the immigration status of certain suspects, and to detain those who are in the country illegally. The majority of the bill will take effect July 1st.
According to some Middle Georgians the law violates basic human rights. Opponents say that want immigration laws, but not at the cost of dividing families and being treated like criminals.
Anna Villarreal says she respects the laws in the United States, but wants lawmakers to remember that this is a country of immigrants. She says the new immigration law in unfair.
According to Ted Meisner, Director of La Ermita, this new immigration law hurts the image of Georgia. “So many Americans are very good at heart why are we allowing this type of an attitude that's so negative to come out in our expression of these laws, “ says Meisner.
David Diaz who works in La Tiendita on Houston Road says several Latinos in the area have started bringing boxes into the store filled with their belongings to send back to their countries of origins, because they are concerned with being deported.
Opponents say they plan to file lawsuits to block the bill.