Georgia’s governor on Friday signed a tough new state law cracking down on illegal immigrants that is similar to one enacted in Arizona last year, handing new powers to police in the southern US state.
The law authorises police in Georgia to investigate the immigration status of criminal suspects they think may be in the country illegally.
It also makes transporting and harbouring illegal immigrants a crime and requires many private employers to check the immigration status of newly hired workers on a federal database called E-Verify.
ICE have arrested closer to 80 criminal illegal immigrants in Georgia and the Carolinas, under the operation called “Cross-Check” operation for the whole week.
All of them had criminal convictions, including violent offenses such as aggravated assault, family violence and sexual battery of a minor, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE declined to identify them but said most were arrested in the Atlanta area.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 33 from Georgia, 32 in North Carolina and 15 from South Carolina. Most of these illegal immigrants came from Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Last month with the similar kind of “Cross-Check” operations nationwide, almost 3,100 people were arrested from federal immigration authorities in Norcross after being convicted of sexual battery.
Last year, ICE removed almost 396,906 illegal immigrants out which 55% were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors.
The figure includes 44,653 convicted of drug related crimes; 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence; 5,848 convicted of sexual offenses; 1,119 convicted of homicide.