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House guts Senate immigration bill
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ATLANTA - A Georgia House committee took up a Senate bill aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in the state and substituted the text of a more comprehensive House bill. 

The House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee on Monday gutted the Senate bill proposed by Sen. Jack Murphy. It then inserted the text of a bill proposed by Rep. Matt Ramsey.

Both bills require employers to use a federal database to check the immigration status of new hires and authorize law enforcement to check the immigration status of criminal suspects.

But Ramsey's bill is more far-reaching, providing stiffened penalties for identity theft, for harboring or transporting illegal immigrants and allowing individuals to sue officials who don't comply with state laws on verifying immigration status of new hires and applicants for public benefits.