Georgia Gov. Signs Racial Profiling Legislation

Friday, May 13, 2011

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]

Arizona Copycat Legislation Will Target Communities of Color, Trample Upon Civil Rights

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —  Ignoring denouncements from civil rights leaders and boycott threats, Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia today signed into law HB 87, which parrots key portions of Arizona’s racial profiling law. Georgia now joins Utah and Arizona in having enacted extreme, unconstitutional immigration enforcement legislation. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Despite the best efforts of Georgia’s civil rights, faith and business communities, Governor Deal, by signing a discriminatory law targeting those who may look or sound ‘foreign,’ added Georgia to the list of states that, like Arizona and Utah, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history. This is a sad day for Georgia and for all of those who believe that skin color should not be a predictor of one’s right to be in the United States. By signing this legally unsound bill, Deal has signaled to visitors and Georgians alike that a ‘papers, please’ society should replace constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

“Governor Deal’s misguided actions will have both legal and economic consequences: Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, has been roundly rejected by the two federal courts that have reviewed it. Georgia’s law suffers from the same constitutional — and moral — flaws. Moreover, as Arizonans have painfully learned, the stigma associated with SB 1070 has cost millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue. In today’s economy, revenue the state and its businesses will now lose could have been better invested in Georgia’s local communities.

“We join Congressman John Lewis, immigrant leaders, and countless other Georgians in denouncing this misguided and unconstitutional law. Georgia deserves better than ill-conceived legislation that will only divide communities and exacerbate the state’s economic woes.”

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