5/23 – ajc.com – Hispanic GOP group urges Porsche to build HQ outside Georgia | ajc.com

Hispanic GOP group urges Porsche to build HQ outside Georgia  | ajc.com.

Georgia Politics 10:34 a.m. Monday, May 23, 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Hispanic Republican group opposed to Georgia’s new immigration enforcement law is asking Porsche to reconsider building its new North American headquarters in the state.

Somos Republicans — an Arizona-based organization aimed at increasing the number of Latinos voting for Republican candidates — made the request in an open letter it issued Friday concerning Georgia’s House Bill 87.

“Critics of HB 87 are already organizing boycotts, a development which should concern [Porsche], which as a Georgia-based company would likely experience a reduction in sales from such a boycott,” the letter says.

“We urge Porsche to reconsider your choice of Georgia as the site of a new headquarters facility, as we don’t believe Georgia has provided an accurate picture of Georgia’s economy and the regression into a past era where Georgia experienced some of the worst bigotry in modern times.”

A Porsche spokesman said Monday that his company is proceeding with plans to move its North American headquarters and what could be hundreds of jobs from Sandy Springs to the site of a former Ford plant near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Porsche first announced those plans this month.

“We are staying in Georgia. We are expanding here because of the excellent workforce and everything that we mentioned in our press conference the other day,” Porsche spokesman Steve Janisse said.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed HB 87 into law this month. Much of it is scheduled to start taking effect July 1. Partly patterned after a law Arizona enacted last year, Georgia’s measure punishes people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants.

Georgia’s law also penalizes people who use fake identification to get a job here. And it authorizes police to investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot produce identification, such as a driver’s license, or provide other information that could help police identify them.

Somos Republicans — or “We are Republicans” — issued its open letter on the same day other opponents of HB 87 revealed they are divided over how to respond to Georgia’s new law.

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and the Latinos in Information Sciences & Technology Association announced their opposition to economic boycotts Friday, saying they could hurt Hispanics who work in the state’s tourism industry. On the other side, organizations that advocate for immigrants — including Cuentame and Southerners on New Ground — have encouraged businesses and conventioneers to cancel their trips to Georgia because of House Bill 87.

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