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GA immigration population grows

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February 5, 2008

Valdosta - Georgia's illegal immigrant population is growing at an alarming rate.

"Georgia, Arkansas and Tennessee now have the fastest growing illegal alien population and Georgia is number seven in the country in terms of population," says Congressman Jack Kingston.

Last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents arrested nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants in Georgia and the Carolina's alone.

"In fiscal year 2006, there were 4875 arrests or deportations and in fiscal year 2007 there were 9747. So they almost doubled which is a significant number," says Barbara Gonzalez, Regional Communications Director for ICE.

Only agents in Los Angeles and Miami made more.  "It's mostly the economy. People are going to go where there are jobs so whey you have a growing industry, housing, outdoor work that Americans don't seem to like to do anymore," Kingston says.

Congressman Jack Kingston has a plan he hopes will lower those numbers.

"Employees who do business with the federal government would have to verify social security number if their employees so if you are going to Moody Air Force Base we want to make sure you have lawful employees that are working for you."

He say that will help dry up the job magnet which he could keep the immigration surge to a minimum.

Kingston says that plan was passed four times in the house last year but killed in the Senate. He plans to reintroduce the legislation again this year.

Ice says they prioritize their cases and work to apprehend immigrants with a criminal record or who may pose a threat to National Security.

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