SB 160, a bill passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal, goes into effect today. Although the primary purpose of this bill was to fix problems created by Georgia’s anti-immigrant law, HB 87, the new bill added some new provisions that we at the ACLU of Georgia fear will harm our state’s immigrant communities and their families.
These provisions include the addition of new items to Georgia’s list of public benefits subject to verification of citizenship and immigration status, as well as limits to the use of foreign passports as acceptable identification in Georgia. These changes to Georgia law make a bad situation worse.
What lawmakers have done is create a confusing, difficult system for immigrants and non-immigrants alike to navigate as they interact with public agencies. There are many important exceptions to the requirements. ACLU of Georgia will be carefully monitoring implementation of SB 160 to ensure that residents are not discriminated against or denied services for which they are eligible.
In order to help our Georgia communities understand the current landscape, ACLU of Georgia has prepared two public education documents, which can be accessed on the ACLU of Georgia website. The documents are Fact Sheet: Immigrants, Public Benefits, and Identification in Georgia and How SB 160 May Affect You.
The fact sheets in Spanish can be viewed here.