Barrow lawmakers push illegal immigration bill

ATLANTA - Two lawmakers representing Barrow County introduced legislation Monday aimed at the hiring of illegal immigrants in Georgia.

The House bill would prohibit state agencies from entering into contracts with companies that employ illegal workers.

"It's trying to get the state to set an example,'' said Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, one of the measure's cosponsors. "If we're at some point going to ask private industry to do it, we ought to get our own house in order first.''

A similar bill introduced by Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, is pending in the Senate.

Rep. Brian Thomas, D-Lilburn, also has submitted a bill in the House that would require all employers - not just the state - to refrain from hiring illegal immigrants.

But the more narrowly drawn measures aimed at state agencies are considered to have a better chance of passing this year.

The only House member representing Barrow County in the lower chamber, Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, is chief sponsor of the bill targeting the state government.