2/22 – CBS Atlanta – Immigration Rights Groups Rally At State Capitol – CBS Atlanta

by Ray Arzate, CBS Atlanta Reporter
POSTED: 12:19 pm EST February 22, 2011

People representing several civil and human rights groups stood together at the state Capitol on Tuesday, speaking out in opposition of House Bill 87.
“For the state of Georgia, or any other state, to get in the business of immigration enforcement, is definitely not the right way to go,” said Azadeh Shahshahani with the ACLU.

“I don’t think Georgia needs to be taking this on. I don’t think we need to get in this battle,” said Edward DuBose with the NAACP.

The bill would require employers to verify if a person can legally work in the United States.

“If we have an e-verify law here like we do in Arizona, then most people in the country illegally are going to migrate out. We’re trying to cut off the chops,” said D.A. King, a supporter of the bill.

The bill would also allow law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

“You are not going to solve the problem by taking people and throwing them out of the country,” said DuBose.

King said that those opposing the bill Tuesday morning were “race baiters.”

“They play the race card, as if immigration law is only applied to a particular group. They’re not fooling anyone, the race card is not fooling anyone,” said King.

“It’s not about race baiting; it’s about human rights,” said DuBose.

“Illegal is not a race, it’s a crime,” said King.

“Georgia will not stand for racial profiling legislation and for discriminatory bills that will turn Georgia into show me your papers territory,” said Shahshahani.

While illegal immigration is a heated debate, there was one thing both sides did agree on.

“There definitely does need to be immigration reform,” said Shahshahani.

Summary of the bill:

2011-2012 Regular Session – HB 87
Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011; enact

“A BILL to be entitled an Act to enact the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011”; to amend the O.C.G.A., so as to provide for definitions; to provide for a private cause of action; to require private employers to use an employment eligibility verification system and provide for civil penalties; to provide for offenses; to provide for the investigation of illegal alien status; to provide authority for law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws and to provide immunity; to provide for civil and criminal penalties; to modify provisions relating to training peace officers; to establish grant funding; to provide for the verification of the immigration status of foreign nationals; to provide that counties shall receive additional funding for confinement of state inmates; to require proof that private businesses are participating in the employment eligibility verification system; to provide for identification cards; to enact the “Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act”; to provide for related matters; and for other purposes.”


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