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State lists documents to prove residency
New requirement is part of House Bill 87
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The state's attorney general's office has made public a list of documents that will be accepted to prove the legal status of anyone applying for benefits and licenses from state and local agencies.

The documents include U.S. passports and military identification cards, as well as driver's licenses or a state-issued photo identification card from one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and any U.S. commonwealth.

Beginning Jan. 1, anyone in the state who applies for public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps or assistance for housing or energy bills, must present one of the documents to prove legal residency.

The requirement is part of Georgia's new anti-illegal immigration law, House Bill 87, which state officials say seeks to preserve taxpayer dollars from being spent on illegal immigrants.

Civil rights groups have sued the state over portions of the law, claiming they preempt federal law.

Two sections of the bill — one that makes it a crime to knowingly transport illegal immigrants and another that authorizes local law enforcement to check the immigration status of any suspect —have been blocked by a federal judge until the state and the civil rights groups can argue their cases.

Other portions of the bill have been allowed to go into effect as planned, including the requirement for those who apply for public benefits to provide at least one "secure and verifiable" document.

The attorney general's office posted the list of acceptable documents on its website Monday, along with a definition of "public benefits."

The definition goes beyond those who apply for public assistance to those who apply for business loans, professional licenses, business licenses and gaming licenses.

A full list of documents and definitions of public benefits can be found on the website for the attorney general's office.