Governor Signs New Jail Law, Democrats Erupt

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

( – On Wednesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law that would require jailers to check the immigration status of inmates and then work alongside federal immigration officials to ensure they weren’t sheltering those in the U.S. illegally.

Kemp signed the bill, which would mostly go into effect immediately, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.

At the time, the Republican Governor also signed a separate bill that would make cash bail a requirement in Georgia for an additional 30 crimes. The bill, which would also limit charitable bail funds and people from posting cash bonds for more than three people a year unless they meet specific requirements to become a bail company, will go into effect on July 1.

When the law goes into effect, local governments could be denied state funding for failing to cooperate.

Kemp lauded the bill as a top priority “following the senseless death of Laken Riley.”

Riley, a nursing student at the University of Georgia, was assaulted and murdered in February. Jose Ibarra, 26, who had illegally crossed the U.S. border two years prior, was arrested for allegedly committing the crimes.

At the bill signing, Kemp also highlighted that those who enter the U.S. illegally “and proceed to commit further crimes in our communities” wouldn’t be allowed to have their crimes go unanswered.

However, as the bill passed through the state legislature, Democrats conveyed their concerns that the bill would mean law enforcement officials would essentially become immigration police. The result, they said, would mean communities would be less willing to report crime or work with police.

Democrats, in their opposition, also emphasized that immigrants were less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes, pointing to studies that supported their theories.

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