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Georgia’s new immigration law triggers boycotts, protests

An immigration enforcement bill recently signed into law by its governor has triggered threats of boycotts and other forms of protest by groups that led an unsuccessful campaign calling for a veto. #

A national group called Somos Republicans (whose name translates to “we are Republicans”) sent a letter to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company asking it stop contributing to elected officials who voted for Georgia’s immigration enforcement bill, which was signed into law last week by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. #

The letter states: #

As more states pass anti-immigrant laws, we have no choice but to get more assertive with corporations who help isolationist politicians via political contributions. The Arizona Governor and now the Georgia Governor have signed harsh anti-immigrant laws where more families are going to be forced apart. We know who are behind these laws and it does not help when corporations such as Coca-Cola contribute to isolationist and restrictionist politicians. We have discovered that Coca-Cola has contributed over $60,000.00 to Georgia Republican affiliates, and over $40,000.00 more to individual Republican politicians who voted and supported the recent isolationist anti-immigrant law. WE ARE ASKING COKE TO STOP GIVING CONTRIBUTION$ TO ISOLATIONIST POLITICIANS for the sake of our suffering and hurting of Latin and other immigrant communities. #

The letter points out that Latinos purchase millions of dollars in Coke products and that Somos Republicans is not trying to boycott the company. #

Somos Georgia – no relation to Somos Republicans – had announced that if HB 87 was signed into law, “we are poised and ready to call a national boycott of the state of Georgia, specifically around conventions, conferences, entertainment, sporting events and business and vacation travel.” #

Paulina Hernandez of Somos Georgia says the group is working to boycott events scheduled for Georgia. They have not yet targeted corporations based in the state but are trying to put them on notice, adding that they need to stop giving money to legislators who supported the measure. #

Hernandez says that while the strongest bases of opposition to HB 87 are Latino organizations there is a very diverse immigrant community in Georgia that includes Africans, Asians, Arabs and people of Caribbean descent who are worried about its consequences. She says the state’s NAACP chapter and legislative black caucus have come out in support of the community’s opposition to the immigration enforcement law. #

“We are a legacy of the civil rights movement,” she says. #

HB87 was proposed by GOP state Rep. Matt Ramsey. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution the bill divided not only Republicans in the legislature but also the states’ Republican base and business community. #

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