Archive for April, 2011

April 30, 2011

4/28 – Blog for Democracy – And so it begins

And so it begins.

Yesterday I received an email from this group encouraging me to “Boycott Georgia”.  Here’s an excerpt:

Juliana,

Georgia is following Arizona’s footsteps with their version of the discriminatory and draconian anti-immigration law HB87. Once again we see the same alliance of extremist groups and private prison corporations – those who pushed for similar bills in Arizona and Utah – doing the same in Georgia: FAIR, CCA (Correction Corporation of America) and even the KKK. Our community is experiencing renewed attacks and a fresh round of prejudice and persecution. We can’t stop our fight now. We need all the support in numbers that we can get. The more of us to stand up, the more effective we will be in stopping this from spreading onto other state legislatures who are being bought and hijacked into considering similar unconstitutional bills.

The video clip on the page, rightly connects the hateful speech by Rene Unterman next to the Klan. Yeah, not sorry I said that.

Has anyone else gotten this? Or have you gotten other groups emails? If so please share in comments.

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April 30, 2011

4/28 – Peach Pundit – Boycott Georgia! — Peach Pundit

Boycott Georgia! — Peach Pundit.

Boycott Georgia!

April 28, 2011 20:07 pm

by Ed · 15 comments

I shall be leading the charge in the boycott! Oh wait–I live here.

Setting aside the rather unfunny jokes…

A group has called for a boycott of the Peach State for payback over the passage of HB 87.

Cuéntame, which describes itself as “Latino Instigators!” issued a statement Wednesday urging people to “Stand up and Fight Back”.

OK, fair enough. I understand why an organization would want to seek retribution, however it can on this issue, and I’m not opposed to them doing so. However, their explanation of the actors moving the issue is…well I’ll let them do the talking:

“Once again we see the same alliance of extremist groups and private prison corporations – those who pushed for similar bills in Arizona and Utah – doing the same in Georgia: FAIR, CCA (Correction Corporation of America) and now even the KKK.”

If you’re opposed to the Klan, FAIR and CCA (to be honest, I’ve never heard of the latter two before), and you are cool with boycotting to the best of your ability “the purchase, trade or exchange of products,services and/or business relations in the state of Georgia” sign the petition here.

Hat tip to Blog for Democracy.

April 29, 2011

4/29 – AJC – Atlanta tourism boosters oppose immigration law | ajc.com

Atlanta tourism boosters oppose immigration law  | ajc.com.

Metro Atlanta / State News 9:11 a.m. Friday, April 29, 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau went on record Friday morning against Georgia’s stringent new immigration enforcement legislation over concerns that it could hurt the region’s $10 billion tourism industry.

By a unanimous vote, the bureau’s executive committee passed a resolution saying House Bill 87 is “unwelcoming” and could “tarnish Atlanta’s reputation as one of America’s most welcoming cities.”

“The loss of potential revenues associated with conventions and tourism would have an adverse effect on Atlanta’s economy and the businesses and employees directly and indirectly associated with Atlanta’s hospitality industry,” the resolution says.

Atlanta’s convention and tourism boosters are hoping Georgia won’t suffer like Arizona, which lost dozens of conventions amid economic boycotts after that state enacted similar legislation last year. The leisure and hospitality industry ranks as the fourth largest employer in the Atlanta region with about 223,000 jobs, according to the bureau.

The bureau is planning to send a copy of its resolution to Gov. Nathan Deal. A spokeswoman for Deal confirmed this week that the Republican governor pans to sign HB 87 some time during the first two weeks of May.

William Pate, the bureau’s president, told the committee before its vote Friday that some of the bureau’s convention customers have called to inquire about the legislation, but none have canceled their events.

“There is obviously a lot of concern about the potential impact this legislation could have on our industry because of the situation in Arizona,” Pate told the committee. “But what I want you all to be very clear about is we are not going to rollover. We are going to be out there very aggressively.

“One of the things that Atlanta is so blessed with is that we have great relationships with our customers. And we have many business and civic leaders who sit on boards of these organizations who have said they would help us as we reach out to these customers.”

Like Arizona’s law, Georgia’s HB 87 would empower local and state police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects. Georgia’s legislation would also require many businesses to use a federal work authorization program called E-Verify to confirm their newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States. And it would punish people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants or use fake identification to get jobs here.

The sponsor of HB 87 — Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City — had no immediate comment on the bureau’s resolution.

April 28, 2011

4/14 – Creative Loafing’s 2011 Annual Golden Sleaze Awards | Cover Story | News & Views | Creative Loafing Atlanta

Creative Loafing’s 2011 Annual Golden Sleaze Awards | Cover Story | News & Views | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

GoldenSleaze_magnum.jpg

It was supposed to be a new day for Peach State Republicans. Fresh off their landslide election victory, the new governor and a passel of Tea Party freshmen unschooled in the dark arts of the Gold Dome were expected to roll into Atlanta on a Reagan-esque mission to slash taxes, scare off brown people and stand up for fetuses (feti?). But as Georgia lawmakers are wont to do, they got, uh, distracted along the way.

Even before the General Assembly began, there was all-out mutiny in the state Senate, long considered the more orderly of the Legislature’s two chambers, resulting in a leadership vacuum that slowed progress to a crawl. An attempt to overhaul the state’s outdated, exemption-laden tax code was largely conducted behind closed doors — not that the secrecy prevented the ultimately failed endeavor from turning into a clusterf*&k. And a simple measure to allow communities to vote on Sunday alcohol sales was a near-disaster. About the only thing everyone could agree on was slashing a chunk of the HOPE budget.

Throw in the usual assortment of wingnuts, anti-immigrant ranters and nest-featherers and, Boom! — another 40 days best forgotten. But before the lawmakers slink out of town, we want to honor the dunces, sleazoids and outright scoundrels among their rather rank ranks. In keeping with tradition, we’ve also recognized the rare legislator who went above and beyond to help make Georgia a better place. Without further ado, we proudly present the 22nd annual Golden Sleaze Awards.

… (Page 2 of 4) …

THE OUT WITH THE MESSICANS! AWARD

click to enlarge WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? Rep. Matt Ramsey wants to bring the border patrol to Georgia. - Joeff Davis

  • Joeff Davis
  • WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? Rep. Matt Ramsey wants to bring the border patrol to Georgia.

Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City

Meet the architect behind the one anti-immigration bill that promises to send Georgia careening into the ditch. Similar to the notorious Arizona law that kicked off a national firestorm over illegal immigration, Ramsey’s legislation would, among other outrages, allow police to check the immigration status of people caught Driving While Brown and threaten prison time for folks who offer aid to undocumented aliens. Just what we need: more priests behind bars. Despite opposition from chambers of commerce, farmer associations, restaurants, the ACLU and virtually every other group with an interest in not seeing Georgia fall apart, it did find one supporter: D.A. King, the rabid anti-illegal immigrant activist who could seize the chance to sue local governments if he thinks they failed to follow one of the law’s provisions. If Ramsey stopped surfing nativist websites and read a newspaper, he’d know that Arizona’s business leaders say that state has lost tens of millions in tourism and convention business since the law’s passage. He’d learn that lawmakers in Arizona and other states have already backed off passing more xenophobic laws. And he’d understand just how dependent Georgia’s biggest industries are on cheap migrant labor. But nothing beats gettin’ yer bill passed, huh?

April 28, 2011

4/27 – USA Today (Video) – Obama slams Georgia bill on immigration – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/04/obama-immigration-georgia-law-/1

Apr 27, 2011

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

President Obama has weighed in with his opposition to a bill in Georgia that would allow law enforcement to investigate the immigration status of criminal suspects.

The Georgia measure, which GOP Gov. Nathan Deal has said he intends to sign into law, is similar to a controversial Arizona law that the Obama administration opposes.

“It is a mistake for states to try to do this piecemeal. We can’t have 50 different immigration laws around the country. Arizona tried this and a federal court already struck them down,” Obama told WSB-TV in an interview taped Tuesday.

CAPTION

By J. Scott Applewhite, AP

The Justice Department sued in federal court to block Arizona from implementing its law, which requires law enforcement to question the immigration status of suspects when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally. A federal appeals court recently upheld a lower court ruling blocking the most controversial parts of the Arizona law from taking effect.

Georgia Rep. Matt Ramsey, a Republican, told USA TODAY recently that his bill is necessary because the federal government has failed to do its job in securing the border and reducing illegal immigration. It is a similar argument to one used by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, also a Republican, and state officials there.

In the TV interview — one in a series Obama has done with local news reporters across the country to discuss the economy — the president strongly defended his administration’s actions to protect the border and control illegal immigration.

“The truth of the matter is that we’ve done more on enforcement than any previous administration. We have more border patrols. We have been engaging in serious crackdowns on employers who are hiring undocumented workers,” Obama said.

To help the Georgia measure withstand legal challenges, Ramsey said he removed the “reasonable suspicion” aspect of his measure. In its place, Georgia police can perform an immigration check if the criminal suspect cannot produce any form of identification or give basic details that could help an officer verify their identity.

(Contributing: Alan Gomez)

See photos of: Barack Obama

via Obama slams Georgia bill on immigration – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency.

April 28, 2011

4/28 – Blogging While BLUE: “Latina vote will transform American politics including the South”

Blogging While BLUE: “Latina vote will transform American politics including the South”.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

“Latina vote will transform American politics including the South”

GLAHR

It can’t happen soon enough. The need for coalition politics at the local and state level in Georgia is more urgent today one week after the conclusion of the General Assembly Session than ever.  

The people of  Georgia lose when the state cuts funding for education four or five straight years, ducks the hard choices needed to alleviate traffic congestion, avoids investment in drought prevention projects, reduces the number of state funded pre school slots , drastically limits college access for African American and Latina students, limps along in planning for high speed rail and ignores the trauma care needs of most Georgians.

The people of Georgia lose when a cross section of Georgians- businesses, farmers, people of color and others – can’t bring the Governor and legislators to their senses about the harshness and futility of the state passing Arizona style  immigration legislation knowing the cost to Georgia taxpayers to fight what is likely a losing battle in federal court and a President who has announced his opposition and the wrongheadedness of 50 different state immigration laws.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/27/us-obama-immigration-georgia-idUSTRE73P7QD20110427

We need the coalition that the Pew Hispanic Center talks about to keep Georgia leaders from forgetting how and why Georgia has thrived.  We’ve been pro business, pro diversity and pro global.

We have reconciled that difference matters and can be a powerful ingredient in the global economy.  We have been all about getting better at what we do, breaking from the crowd, charting  a long-term course. We don’t create small plans.

As a former member of the Metro Atlanta Mayors Association, the Georgia Municipal Association, and the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion Collaborative, I know the men and women mayors who have  demonstrated leadership in the face of unpopularity over the years.  Leaders in these groups have had the gumption and courage to speak up  and to stand together.  Their leadership is needed to push back the forces that seek to snatch Georgia from its largely successful course of economic progress since the 1960’s.

The progressive leadership has included numerous  governors, mayors and county commissioners.  A commonly quoted phrase these days is, as Georgia goes, so goes Atlanta.

Georgia nor Atlanta will not go far, if we abandon the legacy of leadership of Speaker Murphy, Representative Grace Hamilton, and Senator Johnson who understood the value of long range, far reaching investments like Georgia State University, MARTA and the World Congress Center.

Now HOPE offers less hope for those who have a legacy of poverty and discrimination; less hope for a new generation of Georgians to compete in the global economy; and only a glimmer of hope that Pew is right – Coalition politics will change even the South and Georgia.

http://amiherald.com/2011/04/25/2184497/hispanic-population-growth-could.html#ixzz1KeNqkb1v>

April 27, 2011

4/27 – CBSAtlanta – Pro-Immigrants Rights Group Plans Rally Against Reform Bill – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta

Pro-Immigrants Rights Group Plans Rally Against Reform Bill – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta.

POSTED: 6:10 am EDT April 27, 2011
UPDATED: 6:18 am EDT April 27, 2011

Even though state lawmakers just passed a major reform bill, the fight over immigration reform does not appear to be over.

Business owners and representatives from the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights planned to gather at the Capitol on Wednesday morning to call for Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the controversial bill lawmakers passed just before the end of the session.

If signed into law, the measure would would require many Georgia employers to verify the immigration status of new hires through a national database.

Demonstrators said the law would promote discrimination and threaten the state’s economy.

Deal has already said he plans to sign the bill into law.

April 27, 2011

4/27 – Fox News Latino – Obama: States Cannot Have Their Own Immigration Laws – Fox News Latino

Obama: States Cannot Have Their Own Immigration Laws – Fox News Latino.

By Elizabeth Llorente

Published April 27, 2011

| Fox News Latino

President Obama says it would be chaotic for states to create their own immigration policies, and said his administration has been forceful in enforcing immigration laws.

In an interview with WSB-TV, which is based in Georgia, Obama assailed that state’s new immigration law, which treats being in the country illegally as a crime and allows police to act as quasi-immigration agents.

The Georgia Legislature recently passed the measure, which awaits the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, Republican, who has said he plans to approve it.

“It is a mistake for states to try to do this piecemeal,” Obama said. “We can’t have 50 different immigration laws around the country. Arizona tried this and a federal court already struck them down.”

“The truth of the matter is that we’ve done more on enforcement than any previous administration,” the president said. “We have more border patrols. We have been engaging in serious crackdowns on employers who are hiring undocumented workers.”

Hundreds of immigration bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year as local officials express frustration with the failure of Congress to agree on a measure that would reform the nation’s immigration system.

Some state officials complain that undocumented immigrants are a drain on their resources, and that federal inaction on immigration has forced them to take the matter into their own hands.

But while people on opposite sides of the immigration issue generally agree that the immigration system – in its current form – is broken, they disagree markedly on how to fix it.

Proponents of strict immigration enforcement want the government to take an approach that makes life more difficult for people living in the country illegally, and they want more of an effort made on enforcing laws that already exists.

Those who want more lenient immigration policies say that the nation never will be able to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States, and that any attempt at immigration reform must include a path to legalization for certain people who meet a strict set of criteria.

Last year, Arizona passed a strict immigration law that re-ignited the debate about undocumented immigrants and states’ roles in dealing with them. Parts of Arizona’s law, however, have been blocked by courts from going into effect.

The Georgia bill would allow law enforcement to check the status of people being investigated, even during a traffic stop, if they don’t have an acceptable form of identification. The measure also would require employers to use a federal database to make sure new hires are in the country legally.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, has said undocumented immigrants are a drain on the state’s resources. He and law enforcement officials dismissed fears of profiling.

“We’ve got to have probable cause to make a stop, probable cause that a criminal or traffic offense has occurred, and probable cause is based on probable cause, not the color of one’s skin,” said Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.

He said some amount of instruction will likely be necessary for officers in the course of ongoing training.

Meanwhile, farmers and others are worried about using the free federal database, E-Verify, to make sure new hires are in the U.S. legally. By July 1, 2013, all companies with more than 10 workers will have to use the system.

In Indiana, Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate met Tuesday to talk about the differing versions of the immigration bills that cleared the two GOP-controlled chambers.

The state senator who wanted Indiana to impose an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration says the proposal has faced much incorrect information on how it would be enforced.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel says he hopes a compromise can be worked out before the legislature’s Friday adjournment deadline.

The House watered down the Senate-approved bill by removing provisions letting police officers ask people for proof that they are in the country legally.

Republican Rep. Bill Davis of Portland says many Indiana businesses hire workers from throughout the world and it’s important to make sure those people aren’t wrongly inconvenienced.

Read more: http://www.latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/04/27/obama-states-immigration-laws/#ixzz1KmWplXct

April 27, 2011

4/27 – ajc.com – Obama blasts Ga. bill targeting illegal immigrants | ajc.com

Obama blasts Ga. bill targeting illegal immigrants  | ajc.com.

Georgia Politics 12:57 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

President Barack Obama has waded into the fierce debate over illegal immigration in Georgia, strongly criticizing the state’s Arizona-style legislation on immigration enforcement.

In an interview with WSB-TV Tuesday, Obama said of House Bill 87: “It is a mistake for states to try to do this piecemeal. We can’t have 50 different immigration laws around the country. Arizona tried this, and a federal court already struck them down.”

“The truth of the matter is that we’ve done more on enforcement than any previous administration,” he said. “We have more border patrols. We have been engaging in serious enforcement crackdowns on employers who are hiring undocumented workers.”

The author of HB 87 — Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City — issued a prepared response Wednesday, saying Georgia has been forced to take action because the federal government has failed to secure the nation’s borders. Illegal immigrants, Ramsey said, are sapping Georgia’s taxpayer-funded resources.

“Unlike the federal government, the state of Georgia actually balances its budget each year and we simply cannot afford to wait on solutions from Washington, D.C.,” Ramsey said in an e-mail. “We will continue to take decisive and necessary action as a state to enforce the rule of law and protect our citizens from the problems posed by the federal government’s failure to live up to its most basic responsibility to secure our nation’s borders.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Gov. Nathan Deal has confirmed the Republican governor intends to sign the bill some time in the first two weeks of May.

Like Arizona’s law, Georgia’s measure would empower state and local police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects. The Obama administration sued to block Arizona’s law last year, arguing it is pre-empted by federal law. A federal judge sided with the White House and put some elements of Arizona’s law on hold. Arizona appealed that decision. A federal appeals court recently upheld the lower court’s decision, keeping much of the law on hold pending the outcome of the federal lawsuit.

Georgia has the ninth-largest population among states, but it is home to the seventh-largest number of illegal immigrants, estimated at 425,000, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

During the recently concluded state legislative session, supporters of HB 87 argued that illegal immigrants are burdening the state’s public schools, jails and hospitals.

Some business owners, however, expressed concern that a crackdown would harm the state’s agricultural, landscaping and restaurant industries, which partly depend on migrant labor.

Opponents of HB 87 are now ratcheting up their pressure on Deal to not sign the bill. At a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday, a small group of Hispanic businessmen decried HB 87, saying the publicity surrounding it is hurting the state’s economy. Fearful of the crackdown, Hispanics have stopped shopping and some are fleeing the state, the businessmen said.

Julio Penaranda, general manager of the Plaza Fiesta mall on Buford Highway in DeKalb County, said he has noticed an impact at his shopping center, which mostly includes stores owned and operated by Hispanics.

“We have seen a slight increase in sales this year, but as soon as this bill was passed that has dropped,” Penaranda said. “So we are back to levels of sales that we saw when the recession was just starting to come in.”

Other critics of HB 87 are hanging up banners in Atlanta that are critical of the measure. Immigrant rights activists are planning to rally against the legislation Sunday morning outside the Capitol.

April 27, 2011

4/26 – Cuentame – BOYCOTT GEORGIA

http://mycuentame.org/BoycottGeorgia/

I sign this pledge to boycott to the best of my ability the purchase, trading or exchange of products and/or business relations with those housed in the state of Georgia. I urge based on my zip code below that my own city and state officials do the same until this bill is vetoed and/or repealed.

Name:
Email:
Zip:

It’s Time To Stand Up and Fight Back!

We are calling for your pledge to boycott Georgia and Georgia produce. Drastic measures, require a strong action. Georgia is following Arizona’s footsteps with their own version of the discriminatory and draconian anti-immigration law: HB87. Once again we see the same alliance of extremist groups and private prison corporations – those who pushed for similar bills in Arizona and Utah – doing the same in Georgia: FAIR, CCA (Correction Corporation of America) and now even the KKK.

Our communities have been a key part in the development of Georgia’s economy and now they are punishing us for a political game that will hurt the state in the long run. We are calling for a boycott as a last resource now that politicians in the state have decided to ignore our voices.

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