Mar 24 11 - 06:09 PM
Mar 24 11 - 06:12 PM
The group was there to protest House Bill 87, an immigration reform bill similar to the one Arizona passed last year.
The groups says the legislation proposed by Georgia State Rep. Matt Ramsey and State Sen. Jack Murphy would negatively affect Georgia's agricultural economy and potentially lead to racial profiling.
Anne McCay, the president of the Middle Georgia Democratic Women's Club, agrees.
MacKay says that Georgia legislators are trying to do something that should be left to the Federal Government.
"Theres this whole issue about treating people with dignity and just human rights. This not how we operate in the United States of America," McKay says.
"I believe the job of immigration reform is at the federal level its not at the state level, the constitution even says that. But because of the frustration that many legislators have felt about the lack of movement or leadership at the federal level, states are trying to do something about it." she continued.
But not everyone is against the bill. Supporters say that the changes, which are similar to those that Arizona enacted last year, are necessary to fight illegal immigration in Georgia.
Aaron Hufstetler, the Chairman of the Houston County Republican party, says that the bill is necessary. Hufstetler says he understands the agricultural community relies on immigrant labor, but there are legal ways to do it.
" I realize there are a lot of farmers in the south end of the state that require migrant work and there is a program set up for people to go down to the border and make sure they are legal. Then they come back and work and they stay here and then take them back," says Hufstetler.
State Representatives Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), Rich Golick (R-Smyrna), Alex Atwood (R-Brunswick), Allen Peake (R-Macon), Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville), and Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) released the following joint statement today in response to the illegal immigration protesters at the state Capitol.
“Today several hundred supporters of illegal immigration descended on the Georgia State Capitol to rail against legislation aimed at enforcing the rule of law in Georgia. In contrast to these angry sign waiving activists, there are millions of Georgia citizens working and raising their families, who no longer are willing to accept the loss of job opportunities to the nearly 500,000 illegal aliens in our state or to subsidize their presence with their hard earned tax dollars. We are the voice for these common sense Georgians and this kind of protest only bolsters our resolve to see House Bill 87 signed into law.”
House Bill 87 will have to be approved by the Senate and then by Governor Nathan Deal before it becomes a law.