Article Categories

New Traffic Laws Used to Deport Illegal Immigrants in Georgia

  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |

As most people without legal status within the State of Georgia have learned, it has become impossible for illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's licenses within the state. In years past, a person only needed to present two forms of legal identification and pass a driving test in order to obtain a state issued driver's license.

However, currently, to obtain a license within the state, a person must provide documentation to prove legal status (Work Visa, U.S. Residency or Citizenship), provide two legal forms of identification and pass a driving test, as outlined by the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles. Today, thousands of people, who previously had a legal driver's license, cannot obtain or renew their driver's license due to their lack of legal status and associated documents.

In addition, in 2008, Georgia Legislature increased the penalties for those caught driving within the state without a valid driver's license, suspended driver's license or revoked driver's license. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-120, a person guilty of driving without a valid license is required to serve forty-eight hours in jail and pay a fine of at least $500.00. Since it has become impossible for illegal immigrants to obtain a valid driver's license within the State of Georgia, illegal immigrants who are stopped for routine traffic violations, are now arrested for lack of having a valid driver's license.

How are these changes in the law going to affect illegal immigrants? Forty-eight hours in jail may not seem like a long time, and the crime of driving without a license is generally only classified as a misdemeanor. However, certain counties including Cobb, Hall, and Whitfield appear to be using these changes in the law and procedure to deport illegal immigrants. These counties have partnered with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to verify all peoples' legal status at the time of arrest. Upon verification that a person is in country illegally or is without papers, theses counties are notifying ICE, and transferring inmates to ICE for deportation proceedings.

According to an article published on December 30, 2008, by the Atlanta Constitutional Journal, on January 12, 2009 Gwinnett County began receiving training from ICE. Pursuant to the article, ICE will dedicate several of its agents to the Gwinnett County Jail for training purposes and to conduct a thirty (30) day "surge" in an attempt to deport as many as illegal immigrants as possible. As in the above mentioned counties, we can expect a substantial increase in the amount of immigrants sent by Gwinnett County to ICE for deportation during this time period.

Make no mistake the above mentioned counties partnership with ICE and these changes in the laws, are resulting in an increase in deportations. These changes in the law and procedure have one purpose, and that is to rid the State of Georgia of all illegal immigrants.

Steve Mills is the managing partner in the law firm of Mills & Hoopes, LLC, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. For more information on our legal services or your legal needs in areas such as contractual matters, litigation, commercial real estate, immigration, environmental matters, wills, divorce and family matters, personal injury, collections, small claims, landlord tenant or any criminal matters, please visit out website www.millshoopeslaw.com 

Article Rating (3.5 stars):
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article full star
  • article half star
  • article no star
Rate this Article:
  • Article Word Count: 470
  • |
  • Total Views: 3454
  • |
  • permalink
  • Print Article |
  • Send to a Friend |
  • |
  • Add to Google |
>