2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - Offenses Against Public Order and Safety
Article 5 - Offenses Involving Illegal Aliens
§ 16-11-201. Definitions; Offense of Concealing, Harboring, or Shielding an Illegal Alien; Penalties; Exceptions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-201 (2020)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Harboring" or "harbors" means any conduct that tends to substantially help an illegal alien to remain in the United States in violation of federal law but shall not include a person providing services to infants, children, or victims of a crime; a person providing privately funded social services; a person providing emergency medical service; or an attorney or his or her employees for the purpose of representing a criminal defendant.
    2. "Illegal alien" means a person who is verified by the federal government to be present in the United States in violation of federal immigration law.
  2. A person who is acting in violation of another criminal offense and who knowingly conceals, harbors, or shields an illegal alien from detection in any place in this state, including any building or means of transportation, when such person knows that the person being concealed, harbored, or shielded is an illegal alien, shall be guilty of the offense of concealing or harboring an illegal alien.
  3. Except as provided in this subsection, a person convicted of concealing or harboring an illegal alien who conceals or harbors seven or fewer illegal aliens at the same time in the same location shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or both. A person convicted of concealing or harboring an illegal alien who conceals or harbors eight or more illegal aliens at the same time in the same location, or who conceals or harbors an illegal alien with the intent of making a profit or receiving anything of value, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one or more than five years, a fine of not less than $5,000.00 or more than $20,000.00, or both.
  4. This Code section shall not apply to a government employee or any person acting at the express direction of a government employee who conceals, harbors, or shelters an illegal alien when such illegal alien is or has been the victim of a criminal offense or is a witness in any civil or criminal proceeding or who holds an illegal alien in a jail, prison, or other detention facility.

(Code 1981, §16-11-201, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 794, § 7/HB 87.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "State Government: Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 51 (2011).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Preempted.

- In a pre-enforcement constitutional challenge to sections 7 and 8 of Georgia House Bill 87, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, in which Georgia officials appealed a district court's entry of a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of those two sections, the district court did not err in finding that section 7 was preempted by the criminal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, particularly 8 U.S.C. § 1324. Section 7 created state criminal violations for: (1) transporting or moving an illegal alien, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-200(b); (2) concealing or harboring an illegal alien, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-201(b); and (3) inducing an illegal alien to enter the State of Georgia, O.C.G.A. § 16-11-202(b). Ga. Latino Alliance for Human Rights v. Governor of Ga., 691 F.3d 1250 (11th Cir. 2012).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required.

- Offenses arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-201 are offenses for which fingerprinting is required. 2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 11-5.

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