We knew it was coming, but yesterday the Georgia state legislature passed a copy cat bill to SB 1070 in Arizona that allows police to interrogate any one they suspect may not have immigration papers.
The 11th hour vote came amid mounting pressure from a diverse coalition to kill the bill. In the two weeks leading up the vote, Georgia immigrant rights advocates and civil rights groups collected 23,000 signatures opposing the bill. Protesters rallied in at the capitol in Atlanta this week with signs reading, “RIP Dr. Kings Dream” and “RIP Georgia Economy.” Business groups, fearing the truth of the later, joined the opposition, forcefully rejecting the requirement that employers implement the E-Verify program to check the immigration status of all employees.
Yet, despite the broad opposition, conservative state legislators ended the week with a victory.
“It’s a great day for Georgia,” Rep. Matt Ramsey, the Republican who authored the bill told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We think we have done our job that our constituents asked us to do to address the costs and the social consequences that have been visited upon our state by the federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s borders.”
A great day for Georgia? As in, legislating false information and racism? That sounds great to me, super sound, super democratic. Hey, it’s not democracy unless there is an underclass of people that are constantly living in terror, working low income jobs that no one else wants to do and are now going to be more harassed by the police. Yeah, GREAT day for Georgia.
Let’s hope the Governor vetoes the bill.