Fear Is What the New Georgia Immigration Law Produced
Hispanics panicked when the toughest immigration law was signed by Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal. Reactions included the fear of going out, where Hispanics instead opted to stay at home, no one risked driving without a license, and some even moved to other states like Oklahoma and Texas.
According to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church’s Rev. Paul Williams, there was a decline in the attendance of churchgoers in June and July.
The new immigration law, House Bill 87 went into effect on July 1, which drove fear among the Hispanic community in Georgia. The harsh law would be cutting off the increasing number of illegal immigrants in the state.
According to a supporter of the said law, Dianne Putnam, nothing has changed in the area as a result of the law taking effect. She said that she does not have anything against legal immigrants but the laws should be obeyed. She also said that the illegal immigrants are not qualified for a number of public services like food stamps, however, the children of the said illegal immigrants who were born in the U.S. qualify for these services. And according to Putnam, this practice has to change.
Because of the law however, many jobs were lost. Many Hispanics left and moved somewhere else. One Mexican native Alfredo Nuñez who moved to Georgia in 1999, brought his family to Tennessee out of fear considering that his stay was not authorized.
On the other hand, there are also those who even though their stay was not legal, they decided not to leave the place and are willing to wait until their status is legalized.