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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Georgia: What's Safer Harboring Criminals or Losing Some Convention Business

Ann Cantrell for Global Atlanta is reporting that in Georgia, "With two immigration reform bills possibly up for a vote next week in Georgia's Legislature, critics of the bills warn that an unintended consequence will be decreased investment into the state from around the country and the world." Talk about scare tactics, not by Ann but by critics.

She further reports, "House Bill 87, which attempts to crack down on illegal immigration by mandating that businesses verify their employees' legal status, passed the House of Representatives in early March. Later in the month, a similar piece of immigration reform, Senate Bill 40, was adopted in the Senate. While it is unclear if the bills will reach the opposite chambers for a vote, lawmakers could make a decision about the legislation before April 14, the last day of the 40-day session. " . . .

"D.A. King, president of the Dustin Inman Society, which opposes illegal immigration, said the bills will open up jobs for unemployed Georgians, while critics of the bills told GlobalAtlanta the legislation could send a message that international investment is not welcome in Georgia."

As for the Critics, "Jerry Gonzalez, the executive director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said businesses and conventions could boycott Georgia, as they did in Arizona. After Arizona's legislature passed Senate Bill 1070, which makes it a misdemeanor crime for an illegal immigrant to be caught without proper documentation, the state experienced boycotts from a number of organizations and cancellations of political and business conventions.

According to data from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the tourism industry employs 234,100 people in Georgia and is the second largest industry in the state. With Georgia's large tourism sector, this type of boycott would have a much greater economic impact on Georgia than Arizona, said Mr. Gonzalez." . . .

King Responds: "These bills would not tarnish Georgia's image because they protect lawful immigration into the state, said Mr. King. 'Most reasonable people understand that nobody is going to think less of Georgia for protecting legal immigrants, the rich tradition of immigration and the rule of law in Georgia,' said Mr. King, adding that he did not foresee slowed investment to Georgia." . . . [Read Full Story]

What part of "illegal" do some Georgians not understand. Harboring people who have acted illegally does not make for a safe communities and results in a hidden class of people. So, Georgia, "What's Safer Harboring Criminals or Losing Some Convention Business."

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