Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signs new immigration law |  City News

Gov. Brian Kemp signed a series of controversial and highly anticipated public safety, law enforcement and immigration laws on Wednesday, including House Bill 1105also known as the Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act.

Immigration law gained momentum during the Georgia legislative session following the death of a 22-year-old Sheet Riley who was found dead on the UGA campus. Jose Antonio Ibarra, an undocumented immigrant, was charged in Riley's death. In response to Riley's tragic death, many of the bills passed Wednesday became a high priority for the state of Georgia.

House Bill 1105 – The Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act

HB 1105 is considered “comprehensive immigration legislation,” according to Georgia Rep. Houston Gaines, a Republican from Athens.

With the passage of HB 1105, Georgia law now requires law enforcement officers to identify undocumented immigrants who commit crimes and report information about their immigration status, crimes, and home countries. For undocumented immigrants found, this means they will be detained, leading to deportation by federal immigration authorities such as ICE.

According to Gaines, this bill does not give police the right to arrest or detain a person suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, but rather provides guidelines for people who have already been arrested or charged with other crimes and after the Processing to be identified as an undocumented migrant.

Senate Bill 63 – Bonds and Recognitions; Determining bail bonds and bail schedules

SB 63 was also signed into law on Wednesday. The purpose of the bill is to limit unsecured judicial releases without the payment of bail, limit bail funds collected for charitable purposes, and limit the list of crimes that are available as an option for release without bail. In order to be released, bail must now be paid for 30 additional crimes. Other crimes include trespassing and assault.

For many Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Ibarra's previous arrests, which did not result in incarceration and allowed him to continue living in the country, are the motivating reasons for Senate Bill 63.

According to CBS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested Ibarra after he illegally entered the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2022. Ibarra was then released by U.S. border officials pending review of his immigration case, CBS reported.

According to ABC, Ibarra was arrested again a year later in New York and charged with injury to a child under 17 and a motor vehicle license violation. New York police released him “before an arrest warrant could be issued,” ABC reported. According to ABC, the New York City Office of the Deputy Information Commissioner claims to have no record of Ibarra's arrest.

Other bills were signed into law

Other bills signed Wednesday aim to improve and support law enforcement and achieve the goal of promoting security in Georgia.

Newly signed legislation includes penalties for those who pass contraband to prison inmates, insurance coverage to help first responders treat job-related post-traumatic stress disorder, tougher penalties for hoaxes about shootings and bomb threats in homes known as “swatting,” and a crackdown on drag Racing.