Georgia immigrant Groups to Hold News Conference With Civil Rights and Refugee Groups Asking Governor Nathan Deal to Veto Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Georgia immigrant Groups to Hold News Conference With Civil Rights and Refugee Groups Asking Governor Nathan Deal to Veto Anti-Immigrant Legislation

For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 26, 2017
Contact:  James Woo, Communications and Outreach Associate
Atlanta, GA – On Thursday, April 27, a diverse coalition of Georgia’s civil rights, immigration and refugee organizations will hold a news conference urging Governor Nathan Deal to veto anti-immigrant bills: HB 37 & HB 452. Members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend.

These bills are clear attempts to target immigrant communities. HB 37 will punish private universities who, without breaking any state or federal law, have chosen to protect the privacy of undocumented students. HB 452 will put non-citizens at risk by creating a public registry of immigrants who have been convicted of a crime. In addition, HB 452 contains aspects of the already controversial SB 1, which expands the state’s definition of domestic terrorism.

Governor Deal has not commented on these bills but community leaders have spoken out against it. “These bills, masked under the guise of public safety, are meant to intimidate our immigrant communities. We urge the Governor to consider the unintended consequences of these measures and veto both HB 37 and HB 452”, said Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta.

The organizations joining the press conference includes Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (Advancing Justice – Atlanta), the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA), the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), Freedom University, students from Emory University, and more.

The groups plan to discuss their concerns with the bills and the kinds of impacts they might have on immigrant and refugee communities.

“History has shown that registries are a dangerous first step towards targeting of communities of color. We hope Governor Deal hears our concerns regarding these two bills” said Ruwa Romman, Communications Director of CAIR-GA.

“We strongly oppose HB 452 and any other measure that is unnecessary, targets all immigrants, including Legal Permanent Residents, and that creates confusion concerning federal immigration law and constitutional rights of immigrants. HB 452 would create troubling definitions of domestic terrorism and send an unwelcoming signal to Georgia’s Global Leadership partners in business,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO

“We urge the Governor to veto these legally suspect measures that further damage the reputation of our state” said Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director, Project South

Following the news conference, Advancing Justice – Atlanta will hand deliver a petition signed by individuals, businesses, and organizations to Governor Deal, asking him to veto HB 37 & HB 452. Community members, organizations, business owners, and others are invited to sign our petition at:

WHAT: News Conference to Urge Governor Deal to Veto Anti-Immigrant Bills

WHEN: Thursday, April 27, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Central Presbyterian Church. 201 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303


Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta is the first and only legal advocacy nonprofit dedicated to the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in Georgia and the Southeast. We work in four major program areas: public policy; legal education and support; civic engagement; and defense of rights FOR Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other underserved communities.  You can read more about us at

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