Mexico, Central American countries join challenge to Georgia immigration law

[JURIST] The governments of Mexico and several other countries, along with the Anti-Defamation League [advocacy website] filed amicus briefs on Thursday in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] class action lawsuit [JURIST report] against Georgia's new immigration law [HB 87 text]. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru all filed briefs in support of the ACLU [Atlanta Journal-Constitution report]. In its brief, Mexico said the law will irreparably harm diplomatic interests between the US and Mexico. The suit is scheduled for its first hearing on Monday, where Judge Thomas Thrash is expected to rule on the ACLU's request for an injunction [JURIST report] and Georgia's motion for dismissal.

The Georgia bill was signed into law [JURIST report] last month by Governor Nathan Deal [official website]. HB 87 allows law enforcement officers to ask about immigration status when questioning suspects in criminal investigations. The law also imposes fines and prison sentences of up to one year for anyone who knowingly transports illegal immigrants during the commission of a crime and requires businesses to use the federal E-Verify [official website] system to check the immigration status of potential employees, providing that workers convicted of using fake identification to gain employment could face up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Also last month, the ACLU filed two similar lawsuits to block immigration laws in both Indiana and Utah [JURIST reports]. A decision by the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] last month on preemption of an state immigration laws may have an impact on such lawsuits. The court held in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a controversial Arizona employment law [materials] that imposes penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants is not preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) [text].

 

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