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GA Latino Organization Reacts to HB 87 Ruling

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of GALEO, released a statement about the recent appeals court ruling on the controversial immigration law passed in 2011.

Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, released this statement regarding the 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals federal court ruling on HB87:

"The ruling against HB87 is a big win for our communities now, and opens the door for future litigation to stop the 'show me your papers' racial profiling provisions in the law.   

We will not tolerate racial profiling in our state and will work with civil rights groups and the U.S. Department of Justice closely to monitor police activity all across the state with the help of community members.  In fact, community members who suspect racial profiling practices by law enforcement agencies can call our toll free hotline, 1-888-54GALEO, to leave a message for follow up.  All calls will be confidential and we will work with civil rights groups and the U.S. Department of Justice to file complaints against any jurisdiction in Georgia which implements racial profiling in their policing practices.  Most law enforcement officials that I have spoken to have said that HB87, as written, is nearly impossible to implement in a non-discriminatory manner.

To be clear, HB87 and the ruling authorizes, but does NOT require, law enforcement officers to ask about immigration status.  We do hope law enforcement officials will exercise discretion to uphold public safety for all and not work against their best intentions to promote healthy community policing.  Only through community trust throughout a jurisdiction will public safety be enhanced. 

Finally, as the Obama Administration did in Arizona immediately following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Arizona law, GALEO calls on the Obama Administration for an immediate suspension of all 287(g) agreements in Georgia and the suspension of Secure Communities because of the recent ruling and because of the documented racial profiling that has become apparent with these programs.  With this ruling, a continuation of these federal programs will only encourage discriminatory racial profiling across the state.  We urge the Obama Administration to end these federal programs in Georgia."  


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