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Georgia governor signs illegal immigration bill; Arizona governor vetoes prosecuting illegals

[JURIST] Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue [official website] signed into law [press release] Monday a bill cracking down on illegal immigration that will prevent illegal aliens from receiving many of the state's services paid for by taxpayers. The Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act [text] implements new requirements for contractors doing work for the state who will now have to verify the legal status of their workers. Under the new law, police must also inform immigration officials if those charged with crimes are in the US illegally. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has local coverage.

Meanwhile, however, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano [official website] on Monday vetoed [veto letter page one, PDF; page two, PDF] a bill that would have allowed the prosecution of illegal aliens, showing the great divide on the immigration [JURIST news archive] issue as members of Congress try to reach a compromise on immigration reform at the federal level. The Arizona bill [PDF text] would have made it possible to prosecute illegal workers as trespassers, but Napolitano said the law would impose additional burdens on police and prosecutors without the available funds to meet these extra costs. The bill would have allowed first-time offenders to be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in jail, while a second violation would result in a felony charge with a possible one-year jail sentence. The Arizona Republic has local coverage. Reuters has more.

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