Activists, legislators and many people in the media from around the nation have been contacting us with questions about The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, authored by Georgia state Senator Chip Rogers and signed into law April 17, 2006.
To make it easier to access information on the Georgia law [SB 529], we happily offer an outline of the law, written by Senator Rogers. I have added hyperlinks to educate the reader.
Section 1 of the bill establishes that the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act shall be construed to conform to federal immigration law.
Section 2 ( Basic Pilot Program – now called E-VERIFY –) [ALSO SEE HERE] provides that on or after July 1, 2007, all public employers and those working on public contracts must begin to register and participate in the federal work authorization program. This program is operated by the Department of Homeland Security and verifies the legal status of a person to be employed in the United States.
Section 3 states that any person convicted of trafficking a person for labor or sexual servitude shall be found guilty of a felony and required to serve a prison sentence of at least one and no more than 20 years. Any person convicted of the same offense, however the victim is a minor, shall serve a prison sentence of at least 10 and no more than 20 years.
Section 4 (287 (g) Program) provides that the Georgia Commissioner of Public Safety must establish a “memorandum of understanding” between the state , U.S. Dept. of Justice or Homeland Security concerning the enforcement of immigration laws. Certain police officers shall be trained in accordance with the “memorandum of understanding” and shall be authorized to enforce federal immigration and custom laws.
Section 5 (Law Enforcement Support Center) provides that an officer must make a reasonable effort to determine the nationality of any person charged and arrested for a felony or DUI. If the prisoner is a foreign national, the officer must verify their ” lawful [immigration] status “> either through documents in possession of the prisoner or a query to the Law Enforcement Support Center. If it is found that the prisoner is not lawfully present in the U.S., the arresting officer or officer in charge shall notify the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
Section 6 establishes the “Registration of Immigration Assistance Act.” This Act specifies exactly what actions a person who is not an attorney can take in assisting illegal immigrants with gaining legal status. Apparently, people are claiming that they can assist illegal immigrants in becoming legal citizens and charging people fees for legal assistance and advice, however they have no authority to give such assistance or advice. Any person convicted of violating this section may be fined up to $1,000.00 per violation.
Section 7 provides that after January 1, 2008 no compensation over $600.00 per year for labor services to a person who has not been verified to legally work in the U.S. can be claimed as a deductible business expense for state income taxes, regardless if the individual is issued a IRS 1099 Form. The Georgia Commissioner of Revenue is authorized to create forms to be used in order to verify the legal status of an employee.
Section 8 (ITIN) states that a withholding agent is required to withhold 6% state income tax of an individual using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number whose wages are reported on a 1099 Form.
Section 9 (SAVE Program) states that any applicant
for federaL or state and local public benefits, who is 18 years or older, must execute an affidavit that he or she is a citizen or lawfully present in the U.S. For any applicant that has indicated that they are an alien lawfully present in the U.S., the agency must verify that person’s status through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement Federal program. Any person who knowingly provides false information on this affidavit shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction, pay a fine of no more than $1,000.00 or be sentenced to imprisonment of no more than one year. Exceptions for this verification process include: federal exceptions such as emergency care, assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable and communicable diseases, soup kitchens, and pre-natal care.