Originally posted on Colorlines on March 7, 2012.
Georgia found a way to top its own anti-immigrant lawmaking record this week when the state Senate voted on Monday to ban undocumented immigrant students from all public colleges in the state.
If passed, the ban, which has yet to advance out of committee in the House, will expand a 2010 law that forbids undocumented immigrants from enrolling in Georgia’s top five most competitive colleges. Georgia is also currently defending HB 87, an SB 1070-inspired law that allows state law enforcement to question and detain anyone they suspect may be undocumented, against a federal challenge. While immigrants have turned out all over the country through civil disobedience and mass protest, the question remains: will the immigrant community and Latino voters be able to defend their community at the polls?
For years, Republican lawmakers have bet no. Georgia, like other states in the South, responded to the economic downturn and concurrent demographic changes with a spate of anti-immigrant lawmaking. A coalition of civil rights groups and the federal government are currently suing South Carolina and Alabama for similar SB 1070-like laws. And Mississippi is again contemplating its own copycat this year.
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