Governor Deal, on the heels of yet another scandal, today signed HB 87, the Arizona-style immigration law that will harm Georgia businesses and citizens.

The Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, Mike Berlon, issued the following statement:

“During a record economic downturn that has inflicted our state with higher unemployment than the national average, Governor Nathan Deal and state republicans are doing their best to destroy Georgia’s recovery.

“By signing HB 87, the governor has enacted an unfair law that wrecks our agricultural, housing, tourism and poultry industries. Many organizations have pledged to boycott Georgia as a result, causing even further economic damages.

“This law threatens lawful citizens, who can be prosecuted for ‘transporting or harboring’ undocumented workers. Huge job producers such as Delta Airlines or Holiday Inn could be dragged through court because they didn’t check their own customers for citizenship status.

“This month, republicans presided over a state fuel tax increase during record gas prices. Now they are trampling human rights and harming small business due to their shortsighted anger toward people with different-sounding names and different shades of skin.

“This legislation will wind up in court costing our state millions of dollars in legal fees, result in boycotts costing hundreds of millions of dollars, damage businesses that employ our legal citizens, and rip families apart.

“Republicans own this mess.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Like a law Arizona enacted last year, Georgia’s House Bill 87 would empower police to question certain suspects about their immigration status. It would also penalize people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants in Georgia.

Much of Georgia’s bill would start taking effect July 1.

Proponents say the state needs to take immediate action because the federal government is not adequately enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. Critics say the measure is unconstitutional and will damage the state’s economy by scaring away migrant workers and conventioneers. Opponents, meanwhile, are vowing to challenge the measure in court.


24 Responses to Deal Signs HB 87

  1. Days says:

    The only thing i would like to understand is… who falls in the criteria of illegal immigrant? because from my understanding none of us so-called americans should be in the united states! I do understand the fact that there are some illegals that have to deal with narcotics and gangs, but is not all of them, some of them are just here to do the dirty work that none of us would do in a daily basis, my believe is that theyre just trying to achieve the american dream! And to explain my comment even further about who falls under the criteria of being illegal………. Just pop open your history book, who’s land is this really?????? does it belong to the Spaniards? how bout the Irish?? what about Scottish????? how bout neither!!!!!! theres no reason why people whose ancestors basically stole and genocide their people should be the ones to judge who stays and who dont….. but thats just a personal opinion of an American who is engaged to a hard illegal laborer that has NOTHING to do with drugs nor gangs. thank u for letting me express myself.

  2. JerryT says:

    Opposing this bill does not mean one is in favor of illegal immigration. For me it means that these immigrants are human beings and the problem must be addressed with that in mind. Just because they are not citizens of this country does mean we “waive” their human rights.
    A big reason this bill is misguided is because it outlines severe punishment for the immigrants but leaves punishment of those who hire them up to the discretion of the Attorney General to pursue or not.

  3. whitney says:

    i believe that this law is only to show how racist nathan deal is. so if my skin color is brown but i was born in us will i be frowned upon…

  4. Lothar says:

    Fellow “progressives” supporting an anti-immigrant and therefore anti-human being bill. And judging from the comments on this board, this seems to be a GA Dem consensus. Someone remind me why, as a person who thinks society should be judged by how it treats the least amongst us, I’m in this party.

  5. JMPrince says:

    Look, distractions from the Money basis of the change in law here:
    Immigrants for sale. Cheap labor or cheaper warm bodies. Money in the bank. JMP

  6. Progressive GA Voter says:

    Progressiv­es: Do we support labor or not?

    Illegal immigratio­n is a big business dream.

    It forces legal workers to compete against 3rd world wages/bene­fits here in America.

    It’s not just too much supply. By their being illegal, they are easily exploited — Extremely low pay, no benefits, no unemployme­nt, no workers’ compensati­on.

    It is not racist to seek an end to this problem.

    The US is not the employer of last resort for the entire world. I suspect if your livelihood were threatened with such unfair competitio­n, you would feel the same way.

    • Steve Golden says:

      Wow, what a glib interpretation of a very complex issue.

      And nobody suggested the racial factor was in the labor sector. It was in the fact that people can be pulled over now for DWB– driving while brown.

      • Curtis Green says:

        I don’t think its really that complex. Either an individual has the legal right to be in the United States or they do not. Illegally crossing the border to enter the country must be policed for the security of the country if for no other reason.

        While I think your example of DWB traffic stops to be an extreme, the authority to ask about immigration status could aid in the apprehension of people who are here illegally and involved in violent and narcotics related crimes.

        Many times police officers respond to incidents there may be individuals present who are members of international street gangs and are here illegally yet no tangible evidence exists to link them with their activities.

        In cases such as street gang violence it could be easier to send them back to their countries of origin than to convict them through the justice system.

      • Jen B. says:

        It was in the fact that people can be pulled over now for DWB– driving while brown.

        Did you read the bill?

        OCGA 17-5-100(b) does not provide for that.

        • Steve Golden says:

          I apologize. This bill has gone through so many iterations in its attempt to be modeled after the Arizona law that I lost track of the specifics that made it into the final version.

          That being said, I take issue with what both Curtis and Progressive said. I think those are both short-sighted interpretations of a complex issue that frankly has to begin with a comprehensive national plan. Piecemeal state “enforcement” mechanisms are pointless.

          • Jen B. says:

            No problem. I’m not positive, but I think that was in the original version of the bill.

  7. Jules says:

    According to Twitter, Dale Russell was barred.

    RT @DaleRussellFox5: Just got kicked out of governor deal’s office with @grayjustin

  8. Trevor Southerland says:

    Which “this” are you referring to?

  9. brittany says:

    this isnt true..

  10. "Mel" says:

    I’ve heard from a friend at the Capitol who says FOX 5 was barred from covering the HB-87 signing ceremony because of their report last night on Nathan Deal’s sketchy disclosures.

    • Trevor Southerland says:

      I’ve heard the same thing.

    • Steve Golden says:

      Marking this as the first time that “FOX” and “barred from a Republican event” have appeared in the same sentence.