Almost a year to the day after the controversial Arizona immigration bill was signed into law, which caused more than 40 groups to cancel their meetings and conventions in that state, Georgia lawmakers have passed a similar bill.
House Bill 87, approved April 14 in the state General Assembly, includes one of the more controversial components of the Arizona bill, which allows police to question people about their immigration status, according to The New York Times. It also calls for employers to check the immigration status of workers on a federal database.
The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal to go into law. Deal, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, has indicated support for the bill.
Some, including the Atlanta City Council, are urging the governor not to sign the bill. The city council fears that such a law could deal a serious blow to the region’s convention and tourism business, according to the AJC.
The Arizona immigration law had caused at least 40 meetings and conventions to cancel as of July 2010. A study last November estimated the loss to Arizona in meetings-related revenue to be approximately $141 million.
The constitutionality of the Arizona law was challenged in court and the judge struck down the provisions that allowed law enforcement to question the immigration status of people based on “reasonable suspicion” and to demand documentation.
There is no word on when Gov. Deal plans to act on the Georgia bill.