Despite what many people may think, the majority of illegal (or undocumented) immigrants have jobs and earn a living for their families. They are industrious, and take jobs many Americans find menial. These jobs include being cooks, gardeners, janitors, and migrant farm workers. Georgia law HB 47 was enacted to help the state get rid of illegal immigrants. But is it a good idea?
Do illegal immigrants contribute to Georgia's economy?
These workers help Georgia--taking these jobs and more, and contributing to the economy. Even undocumented workers pay taxes, and contribute to the Social Security Fund. According to Forbes magazine, since the law passed, over 400,000 illegal workers have left Georgia, leaving farmers with no one to pick crops. Some farmers--unable to find farm help--have chosen not to plant anything because there is no one to help harvest their goods.
Even cooks and janitors may leave soon. The law allows the police to ask for documentation for any worker they choose. If the worker does not comply, and does not have documentation, he faces detention and legal action which might end with him being deported.
What should undocumented workers do?
If you are, or know someone who is, an undocumented immigrant and you wish to remain in Georgia without the threat of being deported or detained, your best option is to consult an experienced immigration attorney.
An attorney who is familiar with all the options to becoming a legal resident can help you understand the law, and how you might be able to work within it to obtain permanent status in the United States.