Georgia State Legislature Pursuing Budget Busting Solutions to Immigration
Washington D.C. – In the face of a $1.7 billion budget shortfall in fiscal year 2011, Georgia state legislators are currently pursuing anti-immigrant legislation that could further damage the state’s bottom line. House Bill 87, a copycat of Arizona’s SB1070, is currently working its way through the state legislature without the benefit of a fiscal note or other data to show the public the costs of the bill. However, other states pursuing similar proposals, like Kentucky and Utah, have measured the costs which they estimate reach into the tens of millions of dollars. Aside from the costs of implementation, the expected price tag for defending these measures in court would likely cost the state millions of dollars that it doesn’t have. Georgia legislators should consider the following evidence before final votes are taken on HB 87.
- Arizona copycat laws can cost states hundreds of millions of dollars to implement. Read about the economic realities here.
- If the law were to pass, Georgia will be forced to defend it in costly and prolonged court battles. Read more about the legal challenges Arizona faced here.
- Passage of the law could also damage the reputation and economy of the state of Georgia. Read about the impact on Arizona’s tourism industry here.
- Arizona copycat laws are unnecessary and misguided. Read more about it here.
Also consider that immigrants bring benefits to the Peach State. Immigrants – including unauthorized immigrants – are workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and contribute to the state’s economy. If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Georgia, the state would lose $21.3 billion in economic activity, $9.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 132,460 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group. For more information about the economic benefits immigrants bring to Georgia see this state fact sheet.
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at [email protected] or 202-507-7524.