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Sen. Brown Calls for Repeal of HB 87 | People

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Sen. Brown Calls for Repeal of HB 87


Sen. Robert Brown (D-Macon) says he is leery of the recent call for an investigation into possible farm labor shortages caused by House Bill 87, Georgia’s new immigration bill, primarily because lawmakers should already know this is a bad law that targets people of Hispanic descent.

That's according to a Senate Press Office news release.

"Georgia leaders should not attempt to satisfy Agribusiness interests by finding ways to selectively enforce what I am now calling the Brown Codes (HB 87), because of its similarity to the Black Codes passed in the 1800s,” Sen. Brown said. “An investigation of farm labor shortages will not reveal anything that was not known prior to passing the Brown Codes. The Special Committee on Immigration and Georgia's Economy conducted hearings around the state prior to the passage of the anti-immigration statue. At each of these hearings business people and others repeatedly and emphatically spoke to the importance of not passing an Arizona-style law in Georgia.”

The release says that the hearing in Gainesville, specifically, drew one of the largest numbers of attendees. There, months before HB 87 was passed, the president of a North Georgia poultry company said the anti-immigration climate in Georgia had already caused Latino workers to head to other states, Sen. Brown said.

“Selectively enforcing the law will only serve to strengthen the system of indentured servitude many farm laborers live under,” Sen. Brown said. “The state will end up preying on the young, physically ill and unemployable, in order to give the appearance of fully enforcing the law. Employed workers will continue to suffer under sub-minimum wages and they will fear objecting to this treatment because they would be persecuted under the Brown Codes.”

Georgia's best course of action is to repeal HB 87 during this summer's Special Session, Sen. Brown said.

For several years, Sen. Brown has worked to increase Georgia's state minimum wage and reform 1099 requirements.

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