A federal judge heard arguments Monday from civil rights and immigrant rights groups over an immigration law in Georgia, which they argue is unconstitutional and encroaches on federal authority.
The ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center filed a lawsuit to block the law, and asked U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash to issue an injunction until the case is decided. Supporters of the law argue that the law was necessary because the federal government has failed to secure the borders.
As TPM reported in April, Georgia’s law has similar elements to Arizona’s own controversial immigration law, in that it allows law enforcement to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants, and detain those found to be in the country illegally:
The “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” would grant law enforcement officers the power to arrest illegal immigrants and transport them to state and federal jails, would penalize people who use fake I.D.’s to get hired with up to 15 years in jail and would require some employers to check the immigration status of employees using E-Verify, a program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Judge Thrash said he will rule on both requests before July 1, when the law goes into effect.