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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    GA - Bill would tweak stateís illegal immigration laws

    by Kate Brumback
    Associated Press Writer
    February 18, 2012 12:00 AM


    D.A. King, right, speaks in favor of a bill that would bar illegal immigrants from all Georgia state colleges and universities, while Tom Rice (R-Norcross) watches during a meeting of the House Higher Education Committee on Jan. 31.<br>The Associated Press

    ATLANTA ó A trio of Republican state senators has sponsored legislation that would bar illegal immigrants from attending Georgia state colleges and universities and would tweak some other state laws having to do with illegal immigration.

    The bill, filed Thursday, also adjusts some identification requirements for applicants for public benefits laid out in last yearís tough law targeting illegal immigration, making some requirements stricter and loosening others.

    The billís author, Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) and another sponsor, Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta), didnít immediately return calls seeking comment Friday. The third sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), declined to comment, referring questions to Loudermilk.

    Last yearís law required any applicant for public benefits ó which include food stamps and professional licenses, among other things ó to provide a ďsecure and verifiableĒ document proving their legal presence in the country. Some agencies ó including Secretary of State Brian Kempís office, which handles many professional licenses ó had expressed concern the requirement would cause extra work for his staff that could delay the issuing or renewal of licenses.

    The bill filed this week says applicants may submit their documents any time within nine months prior to the application deadline as long as the documents are still valid at the time the public benefit is administered. The bill also says that U.S. citizens renewing an application for a public benefit do not need to resubmit the documents each time they apply to renew a benefit. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens would have to submit the documents each time they apply.

    Both these changes are in line with changes to last yearís law that Kemp has said heíd like to see, but a spokesperson said Kempís office is still reviewing the legislation and didnít immediately have a comment Friday.

    The new bill also clarifies a section in last yearís law that says the documents may be submitted in person, by mail or electronically, explaining that electronic submission includes ďfacsimile, Internet, electronic texting, or any other electronically assisted transmission.Ē

    Last yearís law charged the state attorney general with coming up with a list of acceptable secure and verifiable documents. The list issued by Attorney General Sam Olens includes a passport issued by a foreign government. The new legislation says that foreign passports should only be acceptable if they are submitted along with valid federal immigration paperwork specifying that the person is in the country legally.

    Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), who authored last yearís law, did not immediately respond to a phone call or email seeking comment about the proposed changes.

    The bill also would bar illegal immigrants from all 35 of Georgiaís state colleges and universities, as well as the stateís 25 technical schools. The House Higher Education Committee held a hearing last month on a bill that would do the same thing, but has yet to vote on it. Similar legislation passed out of the committee last year but didnít make it to the full House for a vote.

    Already, illegal immigrants are effectively barred from the most competitive state schools by an October 2010 Board of Regents policy that prohibits any school that has rejected academically qualified applicants in the previous two years from accepting illegal immigrants.

    That includes five Georgia colleges and universities: the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia Health Sciences University and Georgia College & State University. Illegal immigrants may still be admitted to any other state college or university, provided that they pay out-of-state tuition.

    The university system chancellor told committee members at last monthís hearing he believes the systemís current policies regarding illegal immigrants are adequate.

    The Marietta Daily Journal - Bill would tweak state
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    RELATED GEORGIA ILLEGAL ALIEN News ..

    Georgia Deal: No Immigration Legislation Changes

    U.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!

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