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Georgia legislators working on bills targeting immigrants

Immigrants, both legal and illegal, are nervous because of statements made by Donald Trump during his campaign and the actions taken during his initial days in the White House. Those living here in Georgia may have even more reason to be concerned for their future based on a number of pieces of legislation discussed by Georgia lawmakers.

Republican state legislators have said that they feel empowered after Trump's victory to once again move forward with proposals targeting immigrants and refugees. There are multiple pieces of legislation currently in the Georgia legislature that lawmakers and the governor are working on that would impact Georgia residents. These include bills:

-- Blocking federal funding for refugee resettlement

-- Imposing additional fees for wire transfers sent to out-of-state recipients

-- Banning immigrants who don't have legal status from being allowed to pay in-state tuition at Georgia universities

-- Cutting state funding to any private university that isn't in compliance with immigration laws

A state senator who's behind several bills targeting immigrants and refugees says, "If you have got the leader of the Republican Party -- who is the president of the United States -- articulating similar positions, the attitude of most Republicans is going to be to follow the leadership."

However, there is significant pushback on this type of legislation. Many point out that anti-immigration laws will have a serious impact of Georgia's agricultural industry, which is worth over $74 billion. Some have called on Georgia's many colleges and universities to become sanctuaries to help protect students in danger or deportation.

If you or a loved one is in fear of deportation, an immigration attorney may be able to provide guidance as well as work to protect your right to stay in this country legally.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Georgia lawmakers readying raft of tough bills on immigrants, refugees," Jeremy Redmon, Jan. 04, 2017

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