Georgia Senate passes immigration bill to block ‘sanctuary cities’

Local officials in Georgia would have to prove they comply with federal detention requests related to undocumented immigrants in order to receive state funding, under a measure passed Friday by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 269 aims to increase the state's effort to stop so-called "sanctuary cities," a term that applies to local governments that don't fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. It comes after the fatal shooting last year of a woman in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times.

State law already bars local governments from adopting "sanctuary" policies and bans state-funded grants going to any governments that adopt such a policy anyway. But there is no reporting requirement to confirm compliance, said the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Jesse Stone, R - Waynesboro. He wants to change that.

The bill comes as Senate leaders scheduled a second immigration bill for a vote Monday. Senate Bill 6 would create special Georgia driver's licenses and ID cards for immigrants who have been granted deportation deferrals and work permits through the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

The state would use different colors and fonts to distinguish them from standard Georgia driver’s licenses and ID cards. And they would carry the label: “No lawful status.”

SB 269 passed Friday on a 49-2 vote. It now goes to the state House for consideration.