Georgia’s governor has signed a bill that aims to fix some unintended consequences of the state’s 2011 crackdown on illegal immigration.
The legislation signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday also expands certain parts of that law, including those having to do with secure forms of identification and public benefits. Critics have said the law could keep people who are in the country illegally from accessing certain government services or buildings for which an ID is required.
Under the 2011 law cracking down on illegal immigration, the state attorney general’s office was charged with creating a list of “secure and verifiable” documents that government agencies could accept if they required identification for an official purpose. The bill signed Wednesday removes foreign passports from the list unless they are accompanied by federal documents proving legal residence. It also adds U.S. birth certificates and certification of birth abroad issued by the U.S. State Department to the list of acceptable documents.
The bill adds grants, public and assisted housing, retirement benefits, and state driver’s licenses to a list of public benefits for which people living in the country illegally are not eligible.