Atlanta (CNN) — Several immigrant and civil rights organizations filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against a new Georgia law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.
The lawsuit argues that Georgia’s new law, scheduled to go into effect July 1, is unconstitutional.
“This law essentially turns Georgia into a police state, requiring everyone to carry their papers in order to prove that they are lawfully present in the United States, or risk being subject to lengthy detention or investigation,” said Chara Jackson, legal director of the Georgia chapter of the America Civil Liberties Union.
The law, commonly known as HB 87, allows police to ask about immigration status when questioning suspects in certain criminal investigations.
It also allows the imposition of prison sentences for people who knowingly transport illegal immigrants during the commission of a crime and asserts that workers convicted of using fake identification to get jobs could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $250,000.