Atlanta's tourism bureau opposes Georgia's proposed immigration law

Flags for the U.S. and the state of Georgia

Kai Ryssdal: It's been about a year since Arizona passed its controversial immigration bill, although key parts of it are still tied up in court. Other states have followed their lead. The governor of Georgia is set to sign a tough new immigration bill. But today, the tourism industry in Atlanta made one last ditch effort to kill it off.

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports.

Jeff Tyler: The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau today publicly opposed a Georgia bill that would give police more authority to question people about immigration status. The legislation is similar to Arizona's law, but not as broad.

Ron Fennel is with the Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association.

Ron Fennel: It's focused only on criminal activity. It doesn't include county- and municipal-type violations.

Like trespassing or traffic violations. Fennel hopes the immigration debate doesn't keep tourists away. They come from around the world and bring about $10 billion to the local economy each year.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal was asked today if the potential for an economic backlash gives him pause.

Nathan Deal: No, my commitment is to sign the legislation. I think this legislation was crafted to try to make sure we did not infringe on the civil rights of anyone who is lawfully in this country.

Though the governor says he'll sign the bill into law in the next two weeks, immigrant rights groups are planning to protest at the capitol this Sunday.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.
Log in to post3 Comments

When our immigration laws are held in suspension by hesitant politicians because they don't want to hurt ethnic feelings, then nothing is going to happen? IT IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A STALEMATE. Americans should realize if we initiate Zero tolerance at the border, at airline terminals with the immense power of the federal government, to fully funding without any exceptions. That the originally designed double strength border fence (2006 Secure Fence Act), complete with deployed US patrol and military personal, we can alter the course of having to support illegal immigrant invasion..At airline entry terminals, their must be stronger control that includes entry and exit inspections by immigration, so they can trace persons after their visa expires.Amazingly it makes sense, so it halts illegal newcomers reaching reaching America, costing billions of dollars in support. ALL STATES THAT FAIL TO ENACT POLICING LAWS, WILL ADDRESS A HUGE FINANCIAL PENALTY FROM THE BOMBARDMENT OF ECONOMIC REFUGEES, LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME AFTER FLEEING FROM LESS SYMPATHETIC STATES.

If funding is established now for whatever is required to construct the double layer fence, including internal tools such as E-Verify, Secure Communities and 287 (G) police apprehension programs, we stand a good chance of stopping this travesty. IF WE SPEND BILLIONS NOW, IN THE LONG RUN WE WILL SAVE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS ANNUALLY. Every legal person and citizen should have a equal opportunity to work, no matter their color as long as their passage was through the Immigration paperwork and not the back way in? So as inserted in the 1986 Immigration Control and reform Act, we will have the means to inflict grave penalties on business, that think they are above our laws. More than then five foreign nationals in your employ, you go to prison, simple as that. Much of this pain and suffering, loss of jobs taken by illegal aliens could be settled easily, if entry into America without papers was a felony as many other industrial nations have imposed.

This foreign occupation hasn't just happened, its taken thirty years at least. This has been caused by foolhardy evasiveness to the "Rule of law." Once we have settled this exploitation once and for all, we can then decide on a uniform, non-fraudulent Guest worker program.But farmers and the agricultural section, must be forced to pay for their workers health care and education for their children of people working the fields; not taxpayers. There should be special exceptions for the highly skilled, who should have expedited passage through the immigration preference system. Alas, we have a right not admit individuals who will have to rely on government handouts, which incorporates pregnant Mothers. This has become a myopic game of States and the federal government alike, engineering welfare programs meant for birthright Americans sick, old and retired.

FAIR estimates there are about 363,000 children are born to illegal aliens each year. It’s a must read the report in a Pdf file "Illegal Aliens and American Medicine." Just Google the whole text. Anybody have any thoughts out there, have any conception of expenditures Today? Foothold children to a large extent exhaust the social welfare programs countrywide. This is serious intent to legally enter America in near full term of pregnancy, so the birthright law comes into effect. The "Anchor Baby" is an unpleasant term, but it describes with morbid accuracy, defining an offspring of an illegal immigrant or other non-citizen, who under current legal interpretation becomes a United States citizen at birth; the law is ruthlessly used in apply for welfare programs. The female if allowed staying, gets even more benefits, when they become pregnant again, and again and again. This insures cash payments, food stamps, free health care and federal Section 8 housing that shortly the whole extended family moves too. As our government tries to extract its way out of the 14 Trillion plus deficit, so should States that are carrying the extra burden if catering to illegal aliens. Thousands more people join the moderate conservatives in local and national TEA PARTY each day. Independents are swarming to the party, including lost Liberals and Democrats, even hard core Republicans.

This nation is on the verge of losing its reputation, as the most powerful country in the world to Communist China. This has been forced upon us by unfair trade practices and the manipulation of currency by the Chinese. This unfair advantage has deteriorated our manufacturing base, the shutdown of thousands of companies that were making quality products, compared to the foreign countries that have imported cheap goods into this nation. The only people making huge profits are international mega corporations, that have taken US jobs offshore or across borders. The TEA PARTY will end this fallacy and tax US companies bringing cheap inferior goods. We are the greatest population of consumer buyers in the world and we have the ability to place tariffs on goods entering America, instead of this unbalanced trade policies that we have with NAFTA, CAFTA and China.

Strange that the state's tourism industry association would oppose it ... when Arizona's tourism industry has done *better* since its immigration law passed than before.

What it would do, and well, is tell anyone interested that they won't have to cope with the crime associated with the illegal aliens.

With Generous Support From...