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Latin American Association Concerned about Immigration Bill

Budget and racial profiling top group's list of concerns.

The is deeply concerned that Georgia has joined the ranks of Arizona and Utah by signing controversial immigration policy into law. Both states are facing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law and Georgia will face the same costly challenge within weeks. Arizona has lost 40 conventions since the law was enacted (Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association) and Georgia can expect the same.

Governor Deal signed House Bill 87 into law despite the opposition of industry leaders, chambers of commerce, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, and thousands of Georgia residents with a broad range of concerns. Among the concerns: the true cost of the law for the state of Georgia. The budget for enforcing the bill has never been published; concerns over potential racial profiling have not been put to rest; and the argument that Georgia failed to consider: only U.S. Congress has the authority to regulate immigration.

Supporters of HB 87 believe that it will save the state tax dollars. We believe that they have failed to take into account the invaluable contributions of the families and individuals they seek to remove from the state.  Latino families contribute to the economic viability of the state by purchasing homes, opening businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores, and pay thousands of dollars in sales taxes and state and federal taxes.  In 2009, their purchasing power in Georgia alone was $15 billion (Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia, 2009). Some of Georgia’s most important industries, including construction, landscaping, hospitality, textiles, poultry and agriculture, rely on the Latino workforce. Their absence will impact the state’s economy.

The cost to the tax payer and the businesses is not the only cost we should be concerned about. Thousands of families were welcomed years ago as Atlanta enjoyed record growth and a construction boom. Turning a blind eye to documentation, we welcomed the workers and praised their work ethic. Now we are telling the same families, who have become part of the fabric of our communities and whose U.S. citizen children have never lived outside of Georgia, to “go home.”  They are not felons or violent criminals. They are fathers, husbands, mothers, wives, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons.

Comprehensive immigration reform established at the federal level is the only way to fully and fairly address the inadequate immigration system. The Latin American Association decries the signing of this law and the toll it will take on families, businesses, and communities in Georgia and urges Georgia to demand fair and just immigration reform through U.S. Congress.

Sumbitted by the Lation American Association Communications and Public Relations.

Founded in 1972, the Latin American Association is the oldest and largest provider of services to the Latino community in Georgia.  Its mission is to help Latino families achieve their aspirations for academic, social and economic advancement.

Kathleen May 20, 2011 at 03:45 AM
When groups and individuals excuse an invasion of illegal aliens by attempting to promote the (phantom) economic benefits of their presence in a country that prides itself on law and order one easily and quickly concludes that we are dealing with a group of people who do not share our values or those of our founders. Latinos who legally reside here deeply resent organizations that lump them in with those who advocate on behalf of illegal aliens. This brazen sense of entitlement and arrogance by groups such as LaRaza and the Latin American Association is one of major causes law-abiding citizens are adamant we will never, ever allow them to turn our country into a clone of the lawless, corrupt, third world countries these illegal aliens left behind before invading our country. There is room for only one flag and one language in this country and no room for those who wish to change it. There is also no room for groups of people who protest and contest the rule of law.
Kim Gokce May 21, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Our Founding Fathers disagreed about much but they would have all resoundingly agreed that protesting and contesting the rule of law is a God given right of Man. By all means, continue your passion for this Country but do not damn these people for protesting anything - God grants this natural right to every human being. If Adams, Jefferson, and their fellow patriots taught us anything, it is that these right are "inalienable" - even for felons.
Vickie May 22, 2011 at 03:03 AM
Excellent comment on these lawless parasites. Yes, they are very arrogant and entitled.
Vickie May 22, 2011 at 03:04 AM
I don't believe our Founding Fathers had, and I know we don't exactly welcome foreign nationals making demands on us, wanting more than the $100 Billion Plus they cost us annually. These people are killer parasites, and they are killing this country.

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