Immigration Law Likely Will Spark Litigation, Job Losses

AGG attorneys Teri A. Simmons and Stephen P. Pocalyko wrote an opinion piece titled “Immigration Law Likely Will Spark Litigation, Job Losses” that was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. In the article, Ms. Simmons and Mr. Pocalyko explain how bills currently sitting in the Georgia Legislature regarding immigration laws could potentially harm the economy of Georgia. House Bill 87 authorizes law enforcement officers investigating offenses to verify the suspect’s immigration status and detain that person if he or she is determined to be an “illegal alien.” The bill also allows residents to sue Georgia’s government for enforcement of certain immigration related statutory provisions, and requires private employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check the employment eligibility of new hires. Ms. Simmons and Mr. Pocalyko claim that such enforcement could result in unfair profiling of individuals, added strain on Georgia’s already overburdened judicial system, and damage to the state’s tourism and convention industries similar to that suffered by the state of Arizona after it enacted similar immigration laws.