Day for Latino Dignity

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Day for Latino Dignity was a Friday March 24, 2006 protest in Georgia by opponents of state anti-Hispanic immigrant legislation. The protest featured a general strike against shopping and work. Documented and undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala now comprise much of the state's non-skilled industrial, construction and agriclutural workforce but have little or no political power or influence in other institutions. That makes them easy targets for conservatives pandering to populist xenophobia.

On Thursday March 23, the Georgia State House of Representatives voted 123-51 to pass the "Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act." The Republican-dominated chamber debated Senate Bill 529, a complex proposal aimed at illegal immigrants and those who employ them, for only ninety minutes before Republican House leaders rammed through the vote. A State Senate had already approved a similar bill.

We have bent over backwards to accommodate the agricultural interests," state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) told the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee on Wednesday before it approved his bill. The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate, could be debated by the full House before week's end. According to Republican State Sen. Chip Rogers from Woodstock, "We have bent over backwards to accommodate the agricultural interests."

The state of Georgia has a tragic history of racism and anti-semitism, and this ham-fisted blame the victim approach to immigration may exacerbate racial and ethnic tensions.

References

  • Jim Tharpe & Carlos Campos. "House Passes Bill on Illegals; Senate Prepares to Iron Out Differences." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 24, 2006.
  • Jim Tharpe. "Lobbyists Influence Bill on Ilegals." The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. March 23, 2006.
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