Update 4/15: Georgia just became the first state in the country to pass a copycat of Arizona's SB 1070. On April 14, the legislature voted to turn Georgia into a “show me your papers” racial profiling state. Governor Nathan Deal now has 40 days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill, but sources say he is likely to sign it.
Now is the time to tell Governor Deal "Arizona-style laws are the wrong direction for Georgia. Veto HB 87!"
We are at a critical moment and we need your help. Georgia - with a long history of oppression and an equally long history of fierce resistance - is on the brink of implementing Arizona-style anti-immigrant legislation.
The bills would drive immigrant workers, families, and businesses out of the state. They would encourage racial profiling and turn Georgia back into a “show me your papers” state, telling police to check on immigration status during routine legal "stops." The bills would also force private employers to use the flawed E-Verify database.
Arizona's SB 1070 has already cost the state millions of dollars in lost tourism and litigation. With the economy as it is, Georgia cannot afford these laws morally or economically.
For more information or to get more involved, visit www.altogeorgia.org.
Anti-immigrant laws like HB87 will drive immigrant workers and their families out of the state. They will work against your stated goal of improving Georgia’s economy. Immigrants — both documented and undocumented--contribute over $25 billion into Georgia’s economy, by buying and selling goods, paying taxes, and creating jobs.
HB 87 overreaches in a way that threatens the civil rights of Georgia residents. During a traffic stop, for example, police would be authorized to ask for documents to prove you are in the country legally. Essentially, this will turn Georgia into a “show me your papers” state, where many residents—including citizens—would be required to carry papers at all times for fear of being detained.
This type of legislation will not make our communities safer. In fact, critical public safety resources will be diverted to immigration enforcement. We need to focus our limited resources on actual public safety instead of burdening police with federal immigration duties.
I urge you to veto the Arizona-style HB 87. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.