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Legislature panel details crackdown on illegal immigration in Georgia

Atlanta, GA. - Georgia moved one step closer Monday to mounting an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration when a key legislative panel passed a 22-page bill targeting the problem.

House Bill 87 authorizes police to verify the immigration status of certain suspects. It also empowers police to detain these suspects and take them to jail, if authorities determine they are in the country illegally.

Additionally, the newly revised bill penalizes people who "willfully and fraudulently" use fake identification to get a job in Georgia. Such people could be charged with a felony -- aggravated identity fraud -- and face up to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines under the bill.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City, said he hopes his bill could come before the House Rules Committee and then go to the House floor for a vote this week.