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January 27--  Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly provided the following information regarding opposition to Georgia's immigration law.

"House Democrats held a public hearing on Thursday to promote rural recovery, beginning with the repeal of HB 87, the failed immigration bill passed in 2011.

 

House Democrats were joined by advocates for farmers and others impacted by the fall-out of HB 87. “Georgia deserves better than a bill that costs millions of dollars in lost crops, lost revenue and lost opportunities,” explained Representative Lynmore James.  “I am a Georgia farmer.  I know that our families cannot afford to have politicians playing with their food.  If we want good jobs and a stronger economy, the first step is repealing HB 87.”

 

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams explained the devastating effects of HB 87 at the House Democrat’s press conference on Tuesday.

 

“HB 87 is a failed attempt at immigration reform that has simply served to cripple the economy of Georgia,” said Leader Abrams. “The most modest estimates place the price tag for six months of this bill at $75 million in lost crops alone. That’s real money to the thousands of family farms, small grocers and shop owners who rely on Georgia’s agriculture industry to survive.”

 

Rep. Pedro Marin, author of the repeal, added on Tuesday, “Georgia farmers have been the victims of a failed experiment.  We have watched crops die in the fields, and millions of dollars have been drained from our economy.  The state must get out of the federal immigration business and return to the business of producing the nation’s food supply.”

 

Larry Pellegrini, Policy Analyst for the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, was in attendance at the public hearing on Thursday.

 

“The passage of HB 87 was a mistake. Families, the economy and Georgia's reputation have all been hurt,” said Pellegrini. “We applaud the Caucus for making an effort to honestly reveal the consequences of the bill and to identify what is needed to correct the destructive fallout. We regret that all of the effort to pass an unworkable Georgia bill was not put into pressuring Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Georgia should now retreat from the failed HB 87 and move forward with policies that respect and value all of it's residents.”