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Task Force part of women’s delegation drawing attention to Georgia’s inhumane anti-immigrant law

September 28, 2011

The Task Force's Darlene Nipper joined thousands for the rally on the nation's capital to demand Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Women leaders from more than two dozen national human rights organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, have converged on Atlanta, Ga., this week to draw attention to the impact of Georgia’s new anti-immigrant law on women and children.

Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper is among the “We Belong Together Delegation,” which also includes representatives from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Center for Reproductive Rights, Feminist Majority Moms Rising, AFL-CIO, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and more.

They are hearing firsthand stories of the difficulties and injustices imposed on women and children because of the new law.

The Task Force’s Darlene Nipper says:

Behind the hysterical, anti-immigrant rhetoric that gets tossed around far too much in society today are real stories of real people who simply yearn to work hard and be part of the American dream; who want to take care of their families; who want to create the brightest futures possible for their children; who want to contribute their skills and talents to their communities; who only want to live peacefully and out of harm’s way. The anti-immigration laws in Georgia and elsewhere have a devastating impact on women in children who are forced to live in fear of violence, separation of their family, workplace raids and more. This is cruel and inhumane.

The Task Force has long advocated for fair and humane comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act and the Uniting American Families Act. The Task Force stood with other advocacy organizations in strong opposition to Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law and now stands in solidarity against Georgia’s law. Earlier this year, the Task Force sent a letter to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal opposing the anti-immigration measures in his state.

The new law threatens to:

  • Separate families (children from parents, even those children who are U.S.-born)
  • Decrease reporting of crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault out of fear, by the victims (typically women), of deportation or detention ― forcing women to avoid accessing vital public services for survivors of violence and undermining decades of work by women organizations to break the silence on violence against women.
  • Increase racial profiling with local police newly empowered to check immigration status of anyone suspected of violating any law, thus exposing the state to expensive lawsuits.
  • Hurt the state’s economy by driving out working families and increasing state-level boycotts by companies who don’t wish to associate with the negative publicity of anti-immigration laws.
  • Increase imprisonment with sentences of up to 15 years for workers who use false identification to get hired.
  • Hurt businesses by increasing workplace raids and mandating all businesses use a federal electronic verification system (E-Verify) to check that every worker has legal authorization.

You can read about the experiences of the delegation at the blog-a-thon and follow the hashtag #womentogether on Twitter.

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