5/3 – CBSAtlanta.com (VIDEO) – Boycotts Of Georgia Already Under Way – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta

Boycotts Of Georgia Already Under Way – Atlanta News Story – WGCL Atlanta.

Group Cancels Convention In Atlanta

POSTED: 4:48 pm EDT May 3, 2011
UPDATED: 7:59 am EDT May 4, 2011

Watch Now The controversial bill passed this legislative session has not been signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, but groups are already moving forward on threats to boycott Georgia.

The executive director for the U.S. Human Rights Network told CBS Atlanta News it had a convention planned in Atlanta for Dec. 10, but not anymore.

“As a consequence of the legislation, the governor appears ready to sign, we are compelled to have to pull our convention, our meeting, from the state,” Ajamu Baraka said. “We expect it will have a ripple effect. If there are companies that come to this state to Atlanta, they can expect to have active pickets at their events. We have no other choice.”

CBS Atlanta News spoke to some residents who think massive boycotts are wrong.

“The economy is bad enough as it is. We don’t need people boycotting the little,” said resident Vanessa Hinkle.

“I think you are hurting your own city. I understand the immigration bill, how people may feel about it, but you are hurting your own city. You are taking money away from your own city,” said resident Antonio Taylor.

Arizona passed similar legislation last year. Since that time the state has come under fire for what opponents of the bill call racially motivated legislation. According to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the state has lost an estimated $150 million in revenue due to boycotts. $90 million of that has been lost in Phoenix alone.

“The governor’s office has estimated it costs the state of Georgia upwards of $2 billion a year in revenue because of illegal immigrants in the state,” said reporter Mike Paluska. “Why would you want to cost other businesses in the state even more money on top of what the governor says is already going out?”

“We don’t accept those numbers,” said Baraka. “In fact, we believe Georgia will lose money because of this immigration bill.

But I think that is a question for the governor and those legislators, something they should think about. Basically, they will be providing harm to some of those workers and we regret that. But, we have no other choice at this point. This is just the beginning of the process. There will be a significant consequence for playing with the lives of immigrants here in Georgia.”

“They should be turned away; that will make a path for our kids and the people unemployed here,” said Taylor. “If they are over here illegally, I think you should turn them away because they are rightfully taking jobs away from people here who need to work.”

Deal’s office said he will sign the bill into law in mid-May.

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