A group of 270 farmers and businessmen from Georgia’s agricultural and landscaping industries delivered a letter to state lawmakers yesterday asking them to reconsider the economic consequences of a proposed immigration bill.
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Georgia is one of a handful of states that for some reason remains dead-set on emulating Arizona’s anti-immigrant policies and enacting SB 1070 copycat legislation. Separate House and Senate measures, HB 87 and SB 40, have both cleared their respective chambers and are waiting to be reconciled before the current legislative session ends.
Since Arizona passed SB 1070 last April, the state has endured fallout from a key voting demographic (Hispanics), weakened ties between law enforcement and communities, and—probably of most interest to the Georgia business group—boycotts that have chilled the local economy.
In their letter—the strongest and most unified statement in a chain of recent warnings from Georgia’s $68.8 billion agricultural industry—the group expressed concerns that the proposed legislation could harm the state’s tourism and convention industry and chase away business:
We must also weigh the unintended potential cost of losing major conventions, tourism, and international business opportunities. We urge you to consider the message we send to the foreign investors and workers that are vital to our success on the global stage.