HB 87: Georgia wants to imitate Arizona

The state of Georgia has the seventh largest undocumented immigrant population in the United States. With 425,000 undocumented immigrants, the state ranks seventh in the nation and is one level higher than Arizona, where there are 400,000, according to a recent Pew Hispanic report.

Yet, the Grand Canyon State went ahead last year and launched into the “immigration enforcement” thing enactingSB1070, amidst controversy, applause and outcry.

But Georgia doesn’t want to stat behind. This Friday, state representatives will start discussing HB 87, a proposal that resembles that in the Southwest.

The mastermind behind this is Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey, who has said that the “illegal problem” is bigger in the Peach State than in Arizona.

From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

In Georgia, Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey’s bill would punish people who encourage illegal immigrants to enter the state and punish people who transport and conceal them when they get here. Lawmakers are set to start discussing HB 87 at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee.

Georgia State Rep. Matt Ramsey

Supporters say the state needs to take action because illegal immigrants are sapping taxpayer-funded resources and taking jobs amid high unemployment.

“People are always surprised when I tell them that we have more illegal aliens in Georgia than they do in Arizona,” Ramsey said Tuesday, “underscoring that we do have a significant problem in Georgia that does significantly bear on our state and local government resources.”

Critics say the legislation could hurt Georgia’s economy, particularly its $65 billion agricultural industry, which relies heavily on migrant workers.

According to his plan, he wants:

1. To encourage more communities to apply to join a federal immigration enforcement program called 287(g). Through the program, local police officers and sheriff’s deputies are given the power to question people about whether they are in the country legally and issue arrest warrants, prepare charging documents, and detain and transport people for immigration violations;

2. To implement measures to toughen an existing Georgia law requiring state and local government contractors to ensure their employees are eligible to legally work in the United States. The legislation could also include incentives for other private employees to participate in E-Verify, a federal work authorization program;

3. To create provisions to ensure the identification people use to get public benefits in Georgia are “secure and verifiable.”

I’ll be here till Saturday and the hearings will start at 9:30 Friday. Guess I already have plans.

About Gustavo Martínez Contreras

was born in Texas, brewed in Mexico City, seasoned in the Mexico-United States border, aged walking the streets of Philadelphia. He had a short-lived stint eating grits, fried chicken, and peaches in Atlanta. He later became a béisbol writer for El Diario de Nueva York. He has written about immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and some Spanglish. Although he does not have a shelf full of awards, Gustavo has received thank you notes and hugs from people who have trusted him with their stories. His work has appeared in Voices of New York, El Diario/La Prensa, Dallas’ Al Día, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Latina Lista, Spot.us, among others. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
This entry was posted in Arizona, Commentary, Georgia, Immigration, migración, Social Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to HB 87: Georgia wants to imitate Arizona

  1. Civilrights says:

    Fuck matt ramsey and all his accusations “sapping” tax payer money well you can start by “sapping” this dick immigrant put more money 65 billion which relies heavily on migrant workers you fuckin imbred racist fuck let me catch you on the streets fuck the law fuck the cops fuck the goverment every branch and fuck matt ramsey


  2. elida says:

    Ga will not only loose money.but will go broke the good thng is that i can only honestly say if iit wasnt for the iilegal ur houses wudnt b built or ur yard woulnt b cut.or your cars wont get cleand nobdy is goin to do it.especially not a u.s. citizen unless he is a felon.so gud luck senator.


  3. raymond gomez says:

    i disagree with elida. Getting rid of the illegals will force greedy corporations to pay us citizens a higher wage for the same services therefore improving overall hardworking citizens standards of living.


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