House Bill 87 is being referred to as a copycat version of Arizona’s strict new immigration law, Senate Bill 1070. The Georgia House of Representatives passed the bill with a large party-line vote. However this action was not met without controversy.
One of the main reasons the infamous immigration bill is being referred to as a “copycat” of Arizona’s new immigration law is the Georgia bill stipulates that state and local police verify the immigration status of suspects, make it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant or encourage one to come to the state, and require certain businesses to verify their new employees can work legally in the U.S. It also would let legal residents sue if a government or agency is not adequately enforcing the law. Arizona’s law requires police to verify immigration status in some cases. It makes it a crime to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant or encourage one to come to the state, and it lets legal residents sue for inadequate enforcement.
The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, one of the bill’s major opponents, rallied its members with an e-mail saying, ”YOUR voice is needed ASAP. The Georgia House of Representatives will vote on the newly revised HB 87, a copycat version of the Arizona law SB 1070 with additional provisions.” Protesters and opponents of the bill also gathered outside the state capitol where they told reporters that it was immigrants who built this country.
Seeing how much controversy was generated over law in Arizona has Georgia citizens concerned. Could this bill generate enough opposition that it be challenged in court, as is Arizona’s law, which is turn brings negative publicity and therefore could interfere with bringing prospective business to Georgia?
Gov. Nathan Deal will have to sign the bill for it to officially be a law. The governor’s office would not say if the Republican governor would sign it. Georgia lawmakers think the law will help crack down on the extremely high illegal immigration rate into the state and also save money by not having illegal citizens not paying taxes.
Groups and protesters against the bill think if it is passed it could very easily give potential business and families a negative outlook on the state because of its great potential for negative publicity and controversy.