Civil rights icon Lewis likens Georgia immigration reform to 'Jim Crow' laws

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has compared Georgia’s newly implemented immigration reform law to Jim Crow laws.

Georgia’s immigration reform law, passed earlier this month, allows police to arrest illegal immigrants and sets fines and prison time for individuals who are caught using fake identification in order to gain employment.

In a speech Tuesday at the University of Georgia Chapel, Lewis said the country had “come too far to return to the dark past.” He also compared the new law to rules under apartheid in South Africa, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

“We can be arrested and taken to jail until we prove who we are,” Lewis on Tuesday according to the paper’s website. “This is a recipe for discrimination. We’ve come too far to return to the dark past.”

Lewis is known for organizing sit-in demonstrations and bus boycotts to protest discrimination against blacks in the 1960s. He was severely beaten and suffered a fractured skull during a 1965 march in Selma, Ala.

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