Will the Supreme Court immigration ruling affect Georgia? - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Will the Supreme Court immigration ruling affect Georgia?

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GEORGIA (WRCB)- Monday's Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's immigration law could set the stage for Georgia. It is one of 16 states that followed in Arizona's footsteps. 

The 2010 census report shows Georgia had a 96.1 percent spike in the Hispanic population.

What does the ruling on Arizona immigration law mean for Georgia and its law, HB 87? It opens the door for courts to strike down similar measures, like Georgia's law, which contains provisions allowing police to check people's immigration status.

"Prior to HB 87, which is Georgia's newest immigration law, police officers had the legal authority to request the identification from a person who was under investigation for a crime or who had been arrested for a lawful violation," says Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker.

Parker says there is some confusion between Georgia and Arizona's law, which allows police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

"Georgia's law didn't give officers any new authority to suddenly ask for papers from an individual," says Parker.

He says his department's policy never changed.

"Our police officers don't ask for immigration papers on the side of the road, or in the process of an arrest. Typically those questions are asked at the jail, after the person's already in custody."

He says the question of citizenship usually only comes up in major investigations.

"Officers can only take those kinds of actions when a person had already arrested and charged with a crime in Georgia," says Parker.

"To just stop anybody for no, for no reason, like in Arizona, I don't think it's a good thing," says Juan Rodriguez, who questions Arizona's law.

Rodriguez says Arizona's law opens the door for racial profiling.

His parents came from Mexico and Guatemala.

"Some people want to be here to work. In Mexico it's really poor over there. You're lucky enough if you're even on the street with a good bed or anything," he says.

Rodriguez says most immigrants that come to the U.S. come with good intentions and more should be done to help them become a part of society.

"It's all about that freedom. That freedom you couldn't get back home," he says.

Both supporters and opponents of the law say they are satisfied. 

The Obama administration is able to claim that because most of the state law was killed by the court, federal governing is superior.

Opponents of the so called "show me your papers" provision say they will continue fighting.

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