Thousands Protest Immigration bills

March 25, 2011  |  

(AJC) — Thousands of protesters demonstrated Thursday outside the state Capitol in opposition to legislation targeting illegal immigrants.  The protesters say House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 40 are unconstitutional, could harm Georgia’s economy and lead to racial profiling. They also called on Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the bills if they reach his desk.  Some said Georgia should learn from Arizona’s experience after enacting similar legislation last year and scrap its bills. Arizona has faced economic boycotts, and a federal judge halted some of the most controversial parts of the law. Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, said Thursday that people should boycott Georgia if its legislation is enacted.  Supporters of the legislation, meanwhile, say illegal immigrants are burdening Georgia’s schools, hospitals and jails. And they point to a recent Pew Hispanic Center estimate that says Georgia is home to more illegal immigrants than Arizona, with 425,000 living here. Some of the co-sponsors of Georgia’s legislation said Thursday’s protest “only bolsters our resolve to see House Bill 87 signed into law.”

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