Gov. Nathan Deal has already declared he intends to sign HB 87, but the following just arrived from Bill Nigut, the Southeast regional director of the Anti-Defamation League:
“It is unfortunate that legislators did not heed the advice of many voices in the Georgia business community, hospitality industry, the Farm Bureau, human rights organizations and others who urged them to reject this harsh immigration measure that is all but certain to drive business and tax revenues away from Georgia and send the message that this state is not a welcoming place for the diverse global community.
“If H.B. 87 is signed into law, it will likely lead to many negative economic consequences:
“Georgia businesses will be required to spend the money and time to implement a new government mandate – requiring all employers of ten or more people to use the E-Verify program to determine legal status of employees.
“Convention and tourism business will likely dip, as it did in Arizona, where it is estimated the state has lost more than $100 million in hospitality industry revenues since passage of the Arizona immigration laws.
“Georgia could lose as much as $250 million in sales, income and property tax that undocumented workers are estimated by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute to have contributed to the state’s economy. (2006 study.)
“In addition, Georgia taxpayers will be forced to pay the potentially significant costs for defending the measure against lawsuits that will be filed challenging the Constitutionality of the bill.
“H.B. 87 is onerous in other ways, as well. It imposes upon local law enforcement agencies the added burden of determining the legal status of those they stop for even minor traffic offenses; and it opens the door for situations in which officers, even those acting in good faith, may use characteristics such as skin color, national origin, foreign accents or language as reasons for questioning legal status.
“For these and other reasons, ADL strongly urges Governor Deal to veto this bill.”