The signatures were handed to Governor Nathan Deal, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, and House Speaker David Ralston. The theme of the press conference was “R.I.P.,” with various industries and values such as agriculture, tourism, and civil rights represented on tombstones to show all that is at risk if HB 87 or SB 40 were to pass.
The delivery of the petition comes just days after 270 farmers and business leaders sent their own letter asking the Georgia legislature to oppose the bills.
A national boycott of Georgia has also been threatened if anti-immigrant legislation passes. A coalition that includes National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Turning the Tide campaign, and National Lesbian and Gay Task Force delivered a letter Thursday informing the governor that they “are currently prepared to contact all conventions, organizations, companies, cities, counties, and states that participated in the Arizona boycott to advise them of the current status of Georgia’s legislation and tell them to be ready to change plans, divest, and/or issue travel alerts to avoid the state of Georgia.”
Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort has offered his support in organizing the boycott, and Representative Virgil Fludd has warned of the economic impact HB 87 or SB 40 would have on a state with one of the largest proportions of minority-owned businesses. The New York Times reports that in convention revenue alone, Arizona lost $45 million after the passage of SB 1040 and will likely lose more than $750 million overall.
“We need to continue to put the pressure on!” Lisa Adler of Amnesty International stated following this morning’s press conference. “So continuing to promote the change.org petition is hugely important.”
Photo courtesy of Lisa Adler of Amnesty International