Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Aqui Estamos y No Nos Vamos!"

Aqui estamos y no nos vamos!” “We are here and we’re not going!” chanted a crowd of more than 100 community members in front of the Georgia Capitol today, as Governor Deal signed Georgia’s racist and discriminatory immigration bill, HB 87 into law.

“Like an Arizona enacted last year, Georgia’s House Bill 87 will empower police to question certain suspects about their immigration status," said Paulina Hernandez, of the group SomosGeorgia. "It will also allow police to stop any person they suspect of being undocumented and ask for their citizenship papers.  It will mandate that employers with more than 10 employees to use the very flawed E-Verify employment verification system, which will raise flags for anyone based on name or gender identity.  Many other insidious provisions will also impact all Georgians, including criminalizing anyone helping to transport an undocumented person, or 'suspected' of being an undocumented person.”

While Atlanta’s Latino community and their allies maintained a presence outside the Capitol, approximately 20 people marched into the capitol and asked to be present for the signing of the bill.  When they were told no, they stayed in the Capitol, outside of the Governor's office, chanting “Shame on you” and “Undocumented and unafraid” until they were ordered to leave the building.

9to5 National Association of Working Women opposes racist legislation like HB 87 and sees it as an insult to Georgia’s legacy in the civil rights movement.  As an organization committed to organizing for economic justice, 9to5 views HB 87 as an attack on all people’s ability to live, work and raise our families with dignity, respect and justice.

In response to Governor Deal signing HB 87 into law, People’s Assemblies are being planned to strategize safety plans, sanctuary zones and other community measures.  9to5 will join with other organizations, communities and individuals to fight HB 87 and create a more just world.

-Vanessa Faraj, 9to5 Fair Eats Organizer, and Jayne Mariotti, 9to5 Jesuit Volunteer

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