Georgia Governor Kemp signs bill requiring local law enforcement to cooperate with ICE

FAIR Take | May 2024

Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act of 2024 (HB1105). This law—a major victory for advocates of stronger immigration policies—requires all local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with federal authorities on matters involving illegal immigrants.

Georgia had a law against sanctuaries before HB 1105 was passed. However, this law has been watered down over the years. Tragically, it took the murder (by an illegal alien) by Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student, to restore the law to its original state.

The passage of HB 1105 accomplishes several goals. First, Georgia's new law requires officers to check the immigration status of people they arrest. In addition, local jails must now participate in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) program. programthat allows prison staff to identify aliens who are to be deported. If an agency fails to comply with the new law, their agency will lose state funding as well as any federal funds administered by the state. In addition, a violation of HB 1105 by an individual can be classified as a misdemeanor.

In addition, the new law requires the Georgia Department of Corrections and state detention centers to release illegal alien reports every 90 days starting in October. These reports must indicate the illegal alien's immigration status, crime, and home country. In addition, starting January 1, 2025, all heads of prisons and detention centers will be required to submit illegal alien reports quarterly.

In signing HB 1105 into law, Governor Kemp noted, “This bill, the Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act, became one of our top priorities, as the Speaker mentioned, after Laken Riley's senseless death at the hands of an individual who was in this country illegally and had already been arrested.” Kemp continued, “The people who thought sanctuary cities were a good idea, they're not. People need to come into the country legally. We support legal immigration, but if people are coming into the country illegally and committing crimes, multiple crimes, particularly murder, then we will not tolerate that.”

Before Governor Kemp signed the bill, opponents of HB 1105 collected near the State Capitol and then marched to the governor's mansion to demand that he veto the bill. Fortunately, supporters of the bill insisted that the tougher law was necessary to keep Georgia communities safe. State Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), who co-authored the bill with Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah), praised Governor Kemp for signing the bill. “Our community will never forget the senseless murder of Laken Riley, a young woman with an incredible future. Laken was let down time and time again – the perpetrator should never have ended up on the streets. HB 1105 will restore safety to our communities by defunding local governments for asylum policies and ensuring full compliance with immigration enforcement.”

As President Biden's border crisis deepens and record numbers of illegal immigrants enter the country, states are beginning to realize that Congress and the administration are failing in their constitutional duty and every state is now a border state. It is now the states' duty to ensure the safety of their legal residents. Governor Kemp understands this and stresses, “The Biden administration has failed in its duty to secure our southern border and as a result, we do not know who has entered our country or where they are going. But in Georgia, we will do everything in our power to ensure criminals cannot roam free and terrorize communities.”