In a previous post, we mentioned that, as federal immigration reform has seen arguably little change, some states are taking charge with new laws of their own. Georgia is one such state. This month, Georgia governor Nathan Deal has appointed a board of unpaid volunteers that will be able to issue fines of $5,000 to state and county offices who do not comply with immigration reform laws. Examples of violations include not checking immigration status when processing employment or food stamp applications.
Some areas and establishments have already seen labor shortages as a result of the law, while some individual protesters and citizens disagree with the existence of the newly-created board, calling it a “mini-McCarthy panel” and a “radical privatization of government power.” Others, such as representative Matthew Ramsey, consider the law a compromise, suggesting that perhaps individual citizens, rather than an appointed board, should instead have the right to sue violators.
There are no set standards of eligibility for the seven members of the Immigration Enforcement Review Board, and appointments are set to be made by the governor in the next few months. The panel will begin work in January 2012.