The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), a grassroots organization that advocates for the human rights of Immigrants, opposes the implementation of “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” HB 87.
Georgia has already implemented the controversial 287(g) program in several counties. 287(g) also encourages racial profiling when authorizing local police to enforce federal immigration law. Policy makers who supported the 287(g) program argued that it would enhance our security and improve the economy. First, the negative result of the program has demonstrated that actually damages the economy and does not increase safety in our communities, and in fact diminishes it Gwinnett, Cobb, Hall and Whitfield counties have implemented this program, only making it more difficult to create a form a positive relationship between police authorities and Latinos because of broken trust.
HB 87 would help bring about a downturn in Georgia’s economy. According to the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Georgia Latino’s purchase power which was around $16 billion in 2009, is decreasing due to the fear created by the implementation of the 287(g) program. It demonstrates the importance of our community to create jobs and provide revenue for the local, state or private sector. Nowadays, there are around 20,000 Latino owned businesses, whose sales are over $4 billion and provide more than 21,000 jobs. (U.S. Census Bureau)
According to a report by the Perryman Group, the state would lose more than $21 million in economic activity, $9.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 132,460 jobs if this controversial immigration law is enacted.
Implementing laws and programs that are based on discrimination only brings negative outcomes. The same workers that were welcome, respected and even applauded when they came to save Atlanta’s image on 1994 and enriched the economy of the State with their business, are suddenly attacked with false accusations.
In this declined economy, GLAHR supports a solution that respects the human and civil rights of individuals, such as a comprehensive immigration reform. HB87 will not improve us, but will be a deterrent for the individual to pursue a better quality of life in areas such as education and employment. We must stimulate our economy with more highly skilled people by raising the wage level, and by demonstrating to the world that we live in a country that truly encourages equal opportunity for competition. HB87 will do exactly the opposite Latino immigrants are essential for the stability of the State of Georgia given their labor force capacity in different sectors of the State’s economy. To harm one group you will harm all of us!
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights firmly opposes the implementation of this racial profiling and pro-economic recession law; and decries the ideas of those legislators who claim themselves to be “saviors” or “heroes” of the state with “ their ideas” that will only bring about are the failure of the state.