After the murder of Augusta University coed Laken Riley by an illegal alien suspect, and while the Biden administration continues an open border policy that has allowed over nine million illegal aliens since 2021 to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, state Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, is pushing for passage of HB 1105. His “The Georgia Criminal Alien Track and Report Act” adds tight, aggravated misdemeanor penalties for violating Georgia laws against illegal immigrant “sanctuary” policies like the one in Clarke County and elsewhere. 

State Rep. Jesse Petrea

These laws are being ignored by some Georgia sheriffs, the permissive Clarke County district attorney and other defiant officials sworn to enforce state laws.

OCGA 42-4-14 defines “illegal alien” as “a person who is verified by the federal government to be present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law.”  Further, it requires that when foreign nationals are confined in Georgia jails a reasonable effort shall be made to verify that a foreign national “has been lawfully admitted to the United States” or not.  If the confined individual is an illegal alien, he must be reported to federal immigration authorities. 

The problem is that this law has no penalty for noncompliance. That’s where Petrea’s bill addresses the penalty. Capitol insiders tell James Online, though, that some GOP lawmakers seek to water down a penalty because they don’t want to see errant sheriffs or untrained jailers punished. 

But back to the bill, which needs to pass the state House and go to the Senate by “crossover day” on Thursday. Petrea notes there are 1,579 criminal illegals in Georgia state prisons with federal Immigration Customs Enforcement detainers alone.  Many of these are for extremely violent crimes to include murder (182), child molestation (241), rape (179) and aggravated child molestation (116). (This number does not include local jails.) Petrea wants to determine a solid number of how many are in all Georgia’s jails.  

Petrea declares, “the goal of HB 1105 is simple.  It creates a criminal penalty, a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, for sheriffs who refuse to follow our Georgia laws on sanctuary policies.”  

Former Gwinnett Sheriff backs HB 1105 

Former longtime Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway agrees with the Savannah lawmaker that “we have sanctuary counties in Georgia and sadly, this dangerous fact seems to be a well-kept secret.” He writes Petrea, saying: 

“Perhaps nowhere in the state is your bill needed more than here in Gwinnett County where the current sheriff has made at least one public announcement that he has no intention of compliance with either OCGA 42-4-14 or OCGA 36-80-23. I am aware of the responses to open records requests that indicate our sheriff has followed through on his policy. 

“I am also aware of the fact that a powerful lobbying concern is pushing for changes to the procedures and penalties written into your bill. I urge you to decline amendments to the system you have proposed to put a compliance verification system in place and to insert penalties into the existing laws in question. These are badly needed improvements.”


Lost your password?