Opposition to immigration reform is mounting in Georgia as the state Senate takes up the issue Monday. Various groups protested the measures outside the state Capitol.
“Do we want to rest in peace, small businesses? No! Do we want the agriculture industry to rest in peace? No!”
Protesters delivered a petition of 23,000 signatures to the Governor and Lt. Governor, urging them to veto immigration reform legislation when it reaches their desks.
Two bills in the House and Senate would require companies to check the legal status of new hires. Police officers could also conduct citizenship checks at traffic stops.
Some small business owners say the measures could hurt business. Civil rights organizations and churches say the measures are inhumane and will tarnish Georgia’s image.
Reverend Timothy McDonald is from the First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta.
“At the end of the day, these proposed immigration laws are about discrimination, discrimination of those who according to our holy writ says to welcome the stranger.”
Supporters of the bills say the measures are necessary to curb the costs of illegal immigration.