A Large Audience Attends Hearing on Immigration Law
The Meeting Room A of Georgia Mountains Center was packed by an overflowing crowd Tuesday night for the state legislative hearing on immigration. The crowd was so huge that employees of the Mountains Center had to remove partitions to allow more seating areas.
Sen. Curt Thompson, the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Immigration and Georgia’s Economy, said that the committee listened for almost three hours to overwhelming testimony from more than 30 witnesses.
Most of the witnesses say that passing Arizona-type immigration legislation in Georgia could be disastrous.
Sarah Jones, a witness who support the legislation was told by Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta that he is hopeful legislators can still reach a common ground with them. Jones said that she was not racist but as a law-abiding citizen, she believed that it is right to be on the side of what is legal versus illegal immigration.
Jones said, “None of us is opposed to legal immigration but breaking our laws, we are opposed to that.”
Many of the witnesses were first generation Latino Americans who said that the legislation tend to discriminate, as well as lead to racial profiling. They also said it would drive away hard working people from an economy that they have been supporting up to now.
According to Jerry Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, the law could wreak havoc on the poultry industry in Gainesville. He said, “Without the Latino work force that we have in Gainesville, the poultry industry cannot survive.”