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Georgia CEO says immigration bill doesn’t equal amnesty

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Some call the on-again, off-again (on, as of press time) U.S. Senate immigration-reform bill an offer of “amnesty” for millions of lawbreaking, undocumented immigrants. But Tommy Bagwell, CEO of American Proteins, Inc.—a poultry byproducts rendering plant in Cumming—says that’s hogwash.

“You have to register, get background checks, get a biometric marker for your ID card, pay a fine and get to the back of the line [for a green card],” Bagwell said. “You might say this is not adequate punishment, but to say it’s ‘amnesty’ is purposeful demagoguery.”

President Bush visited Georgia on May 29 to promote the proposed Senate bill, which would provide temporary visas to immigrants meeting the requirements. It would also impose fines of up to $75,000 for employers who hire undocumented workers, and require companies to verify identities through a federal electronic system. Congress will continue to work on this complicated piece of legislation.

An estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants work in Georgia, many in agricultural businesses.

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