An unintended consequence of Georgia’s new immigration law is causing headaches for Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office.
The new law requires anyone applying or renewing a professional license to show proof of citizenship. Renewals are required every two years.
“It’s put our whole licensing division under water. We’ve continued to have budget cuts and then our workloads have increased. We’re just going down a path that’s unsustainable and, quite frankly, it’s killing working Georgians,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Kemp says the once automated process that took less than two days now takes close to two weeks.
He is backing a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would only require that information be entered into the system one time.
“It would just allow us to be able to check that secure and verifiable document one time and, then once we’ve done that, in the future we won’t have to check it again,” says Kemp.
His office licenses nearly half a million Georgians in some 200 professions ranging from sewer repairmen to nurses to accountants.
“The quicker we get it done it and get it implemented, it will help not only our agency, but a lot other agencies in state government that issue licenses,” says Kemp.