Channel 2’s George Howell Reports
Posted: 10:35 am EDT May 14, 2011Updated: 11:25 am EDT May 14, 2011
ATLANTA — A group opposed to Georgia’s new immigration law met to plan how to fight back.
Protesters promised there would be consequences to the passage of the law Friday evening.
“The most important thing about this meeting is, is that this meeting is about what we are going to do,” Xochitl Bervera with Somos Georgia said.
Somos Georgia (We are Georgia) is a grassroots group against the bill.
On Friday night, the group planned their response.
“Today, we are officially calling on all businesses, conventions, conferences to cancel all plans to come to the state of Georgia and not spend a dollar here,” Bervera said.
Bervera said, like Arizona, she expects the boycott to cost Georgia millions of dollars in lost business, plus more.
“We are telling people who are part of businesses, people who are part of places of worship and other privately-owned spaces that we have to make a public statement about what this means for us living in Georgia, and that we have a choice to not comply,” Paulina Hernandez with Somos Georgia said.
The group is asking businesses to post signs pledging not to allow police inside solely to check immigration status, giving safe sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.
The new law requires businesses to use the government’s E-Verify system to check the immigration of new employees, and gives police more leeway to check the criminal status of suspects.
Opponents say it relies on racial profiling to target minorities.
“Arizona, as we know, was one of the first cases where the law passed and recently in the past few weeks it was judged unconstitutional. So we’re pretty confident the HB87 will be found unconstitutional once it’s taken to court,” Sian Ofaolan with Rights Working Group said.
Organizers said they are also planning sit-ins and other acts of civil disobedience – a symbolic move, they say, to show that they won’t be forced out of Georgia.