7/20 – ajc.com – Georgia restaurants report labor shortages after passage of anti-illegal immigration law | ajc.com

Georgia restaurants report labor shortages after passage of anti-illegal immigration law  | ajc.com.

Georgia Politics 5:04 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia restaurants are reporting labor shortages following the passage of the state’s tough new immigration enforcement law, a new survey by the Georgia Restaurant Association shows.

Nearly half of the 523 restaurateurs across the state who voluntarily participated in the electronic survey this month are having trouble finding workers, a summary of the survey results shows. That summary, however, doesn’t say how many pinned the labor shortages on Georgia’s new anti-illegal immigration law, also called House Bill 87.

Of the respondents, more than three-quarters are located in the metro Atlanta area. Almost a third of those who took part in the survey gave additional feedback, and 91 percent of them said they were opposed to Georgia’s “immigration reform.”

Supporters of Georgia’s new law say illegal immigrants are burdening the state’s taxpayer-funded resources, including schools, courts, hospitals and jails. A recent estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center puts the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia at 425,000, the seventh-highest among the states.

But Georgia’s $14.1 billion restaurant industry has been particularly critical of HB 87. After the Legislature passed the law in April, the Georgia Restaurant Association raised concerns that it would create additional costs for small businesses and possibly trigger boycotts targeting the state. The association took the position that it supports comprehensive immigration reform, but only at the federal level.

Karen Bremer, the association’s executive director, said she plans to send the results of the survey to state lawmakers in the coming weeks.

“We could have saved a lot of time and a lot of money and dealt with this issue a lot more effectively if business and government had worked together as a coalition and petitioned our federal government to change things and to correct failed policy,” she said.

The restaurant industry is not alone. Georgia farmers also have complained of severe labor shortages following the passage of HB 87. They say the new law is scaring away the migrant Hispanic workers they depend on to pick their fruits and vegetables, potentially putting hundreds of millions of dollars in crops at risk. A state survey of farmers released last month showed they had 11,080 jobs open.

Among other things, HB 87 penalizes people who use fake identification to get jobs in Georgia and requires many employers to use a federal work authorization program called E-Verify. That program helps employers ensure their new hires are eligible to work in the United States.

Last month, a federal judge temporarily put other parts of the law on hold after civil and immigrant rights groups challenged their constitutionality. One of the halted provisions would punish people who harbor illegal immigrants. The other would empower police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects.


One Comment to “7/20 – ajc.com – Georgia restaurants report labor shortages after passage of anti-illegal immigration law | ajc.com”

  1. Our beloved Governor Mr Deal doesn’t seem to understand politics and much less economics. I am beginigto wonder who is behind his grandous ideas as how to reform the Georgia’s economy. He truly believe that running out a labor force of all the undocumented the economy would blosson. Right ? Well at least it seem to be his thoughts and vision. Mr Deal seem to be out of touch with reality or he does not how to make a good deal. The tragedy about of these narrow minded policies is the firmly conviction that the undocumented immigration in the state are actually a burden to the state rather than benefit. He has been so ill adviced by all those antiimmigrant pundits that he actually believe is doing a great deed for the state. The facts are for everyone to see and consider. Do not tell me that our agricultural sector have benefitiated by the running out of all the ground pickers and instread have brought the parolees and convits to do the job the immigrants have done for so long, and actually so well that our produces have not need to rotten in the fields as they have this summer. Millions of lost in the agricultural field this summer alone, due to the inability to make a good deal in the agricultural factor alone. The hospitality factor have also been affected by this draconian HB 87. According to your report the restaurant industry that accounts about 14.5 billion and have about 523 restaurants have been face with a tremendous labour shortage. So Mr Governor Deal, I believe you have been contaminated with a tremendous fear of henophobism. So you and your pundits couragously have runned out the immigrants who do the labour others refuse to take. Otherwise Mr Deal would you please expalain to us why though there are about 11.080 jobs available in the agricultural sector alone in our state ? Are you planning to subsidy the lost of the land lords with tax exceptions and bailing them out when they declare bankrupcy ? Or still better, would you please help the common table with subsidies when produces would reach prices we can not afford ? Mr Deal please think about the common good of all Georgians rather than please the inner core of your narrow minded colaborators.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: