5/4 – WSB(Video) – Immigration Bill Could Spark Tourism Boycott – News Story – WSB Atlanta

Immigration Bill Could Spark Tourism Boycott – News Story – WSB Atlanta.

locally based human rights group has canceled plans to hold its biannual conference in Atlanta in response to a proposed state immigration law it finds offensive.”Because of this backwards legislation, we are compelled to pull the conference from the city,” said Ajamu Baraka, Executive Director of the US Human Rights network.”It’s a human rights issue,” he explained, to Channel 2 Action News Reporter Manuel Bojorquez about the decision.The move is in response to GA House Bill 87, a measure that would empower police to check the immigration status of certain suspects, and make businesses use a federal verification system to ensure eligibility of new hires.The US Human Rights Network expects others will follow and join a national boycott if Governor Nathan Deal signs HB 87 into law, which the governor has said he intends to do.”I think there will be economic consequences of this boycott, even more so than we saw in Arizona,” Baraka said.That’s a concern for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.Its members sent a resolution to Deal, urging him to oppose the measure.The resolution calls the legislation “unwelcoming” and says it could “tarnish Atlanta’s reputation as one of America’s most welcoming cities.”The Bureau says Atlanta attracts 34 million visitors annually, and that tourism generates $10 billion in visitor spending each year.”I don’t think it’s gonna be that much of a negative impact,” said Phil Kent, spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.”I think Atlanta and Georgia are very welcoming,” he said, adding that HB 87 is necessary for the state to deal with illegal immigration.As for the boycott, Kent said: “It’s economic blackmail and I think most people, whether they agree or disagree with this bill, don’t appreciate blackmail and extortion.”The US Human Rights Network does not see it that way, and is currently looking for a new home for their December conference which was set to draw 600 people, Baraka said.

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