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Georgia Studies Immimgration Law
Monday, 10 January 2011

January 10--  A Georgia legislative committee is studying new state immigration laws to handle the influx of illegal immigrants.

State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia is on the committee which he says is hearing testimony from all sides.

"We've invited everyone who has a seat at the table on this issue.  Employers, agriculture, advocates for Latino people, we've heard them all.  We've also heard from law enforcement and that was the most telling testimoney of all," Morris says.

Morris believes the first responsibility is to take care of public safety.  "That's the first thing we need to do, to make sure the safety of our citizens is not threatened by anyone who is in this country illegally. Once we've done that, we can address the cost that illegal aliens cost the taxpayers in terms of goods and services and how we can move to eliminate that," he said.

Morris acknowledges immigration is a federal issue and would not be a problem if the U.S. government was doing its job of securing the country's borders.

"It is a federal issue, but there are some things we can do as state government in terms of public safety and tax dollars which are spent on people who are in this country illegally," Morris notes.

Representative Morris says the immigration committee is learning from states like Arizona which have had state legislation challenged in court by the federal government.  Because they want to get it right, he says it may take a couple of years to draft legislation that will stand up in court.

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