Dana Balicki


How Georgia's Anti-Immigrant Law Hurts Real Women

A delegation of women leaders from around the country spent last week interviewing female immigrants in Georgia. These are their stories.

In July, one of the nation’s strictest immigration laws took effect in Georgia. HB 87, modeled on Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, has gotten a tiny fraction of the media attention of its predecessor, but it’s having similar effects on immigrant families. The bill authorizes police to investigate many suspects’ immigration status, requires employers to take extra steps to verify workers’ legal status, and criminalizes the transport of undocumented immigrants. The law threatens to separate families, decrease reporting of crimes like domestic violence and sexual assault, increase racial profiling, and hurt businesses.

In response to HB 87’s passage, 25 women leaders from human rights organizations around the country formed the We Belong Together initiative and set off for Atlanta—reuniting after a similar event in Arizona last year—to discuss the human cost of these laws and give immigrant women a safe space to share their stories. The delegation spent the past week in Georgia, interviewing women who have been affected by the new law. (Some names have been changed to protect the women’s identities.)

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