Posted: 6:29 am EDT May 26, 2011Updated: 10:42 am EDT May 26, 2011
ATLANTA — Some Georgia businesses are pledging to protect illegal immigrants against a new law that gives police more room to question residents’ immigration status.There are now 16 business and/or churches in the metro Atlanta area calling themselves buy spots and sanctuary zones, including the Charis Bookstore in northeast Atlanta. Click here for the full list.”We put our face out there because no one is going to come looking for our papers,” bookstore employee Elizabeth Anderson told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield.Supporters said buy spots are places illegal immigrants can shop without the fear of having to show papers proving their legal status, and sanctuary zones are places people can gather to plan how to fight the law. Anderson told Byfield if a police officer wants to question someone inside either place they will be asked to provide a warrant.Supporters created buy spots and sanctuary zones in the wake of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signing House Bill 87 into law. The law gives police the right to question someone’s legal status during a criminal investigation, including a traffic stop.”The collective financial cost to our educational, health care and correction infrastructure is in the billions,” Deal said after the signing.Anderson said Charis Books was the first business in Georgia to become a buy spot.”It makes us look ignorant to the rest of the country, and as a native born Georgian, it makes me angry and sad,” she said.Officers said they are still exploring the law’s implications.”Currently, we are looking into the law to gain full understanding of all the components it entails. We will have discussions with our legal department and the mayor’s office to see how this new law will be enforced by us,” an Atlanta police representative said in a statement.