Officials in the state of Georgia have 90 days to decide whether or not to appeal a recent court decision that struck down a key part of their anti-immigrant law, which provides penalties to those who knowingly transport or harbor undocumented immigrants while committing other crimes.
The Georgia appeals court recently struck down this provision of the law, leaving space for the rest to go into effect next month: a “show me your papers” law similar to one first enacted in Arizona years ago, much of which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
If Georgia decided to appeal the ruling on the transport clause, which might face limited success in a Supreme Court that has already demonstrated its views on similar laws, the Arizona-style segments would be on hold until the Supreme Court reached a decision.
Legal battles such as this underscore the urgency of passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Immigrant communities around the country are waiting in limbo as their treatment is debated in state legislatures.
The legal system and the American public have been increasingly wary of state enforcement measures, and Congress has shown that it may be ready to act. The Christian community has been united in calling on our political leaders to fix our broken immigration system in a way that respects human dignity. We hope the Georgia legislation reminds them of the need to do just that.