Late last week, the Georgia state legislature passed a bill similar to Arizona's controversial immigration law that expands the authority of police to check the immigration status of suspects and require employers to check the status of potential employees. A spokesman for Republican Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said Friday that Deal intends to sign the bill into law and that he believes "it reinforces the law in Georgia," reported CNN. Both the Georgia House and Senate approved the bill in the final hours of the legislative session.
The bill, HB 87, requires "private employers to use an employment eligibility verification system and provide for civil penalties" if employers fail to follow certain rules. The bill also requires contractors to "register with" and be "authorized to use" the federal work authorization program, among other employment provisions.
Regarding law enforcement, the bill allows "law enforcement officers and agencies" expanded priviledges "to utilize all resources made available by the federal government to assist state and local law enforcement officers in the enforcement of the immigration laws" and stipulates "immunity from damages or liability from such actions." Police would be allowed to check the immigration status of any suspect of any crime.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a 2009 estimate indicates that there are approximately 480,000 undocumented immigrants in Georgia, which is roughly 20,000 more than Arizona.
Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a District court ruling that blocks portions of Arizona's immigration law (SB 1070) from going into effect. The three judge panel ruled that District Judge Susan Bolton "did not abuse" her power in her decision to block portions of the law, including a requirement that police check the immigration status of criminal suspects that they had stopped while enforcing other laws and a provision that would make it a crime not to carry immigration papers. The Circuit court did not rule on the constitutionality of the Arizona law. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) continues to defend the immigration law and stated that she is considering whether to take the case to the US Supreme Court.
Media Resources: Georgia HB 87; CNN 4/15/2011; Los Angeles Times 4/14/2011; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/12/2011
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .