Boston Herald, 7/10/12
Georgia police should be allowed to start enforcing key parts of the state’s anti-illegal immigration law — including checking the immigration status of certain suspects — now that the U.S. Supreme Court has sustained a similar statute in Arizona, state lawyers argue in filings before a federal appeals court in Atlanta.
A coalition of civil and immigrant rights groups argues just the opposite, saying in a legal brief Friday that Georgia’s law, currently on hold pending the appeals court’s decision, would interfere with the federal government’s authority to set immigration policy and manage foreign relations.
At the center of the dispute is a part of the law that would let state and local police investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot produce identification or provide other information that could help police identify them. Also at issue is a provision that would punish those who knowingly harbor or transport illegal immigrants in the state while committing another crime.