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Metro Chamber pledges immigration support for new year

2016 has seen more than its share of conflict and frightening visions of the future for immigrants and other vulnerable demographics throughout America and right here in Georgia, and it is still difficult to make out what 2017 might hold. There are, however, some small silver linings for those living Georgia, or at least in the Atlanta area. The Metro Atlanta Chamber has recently announced their intentions to advocate on the side of immigrants and protected classes in the upcoming year, despite what feels like a chilly sea change in the public mindset.

One of the most important issues that affects many immigrants is the possibility of Georgia passing some form of religious freedom bill, like what has been passed recently in North Carolina. While not all immigrants would be directly affected by such a law, depending on its wording, such a law could allow a business to refuse service to someone based simply on the suspicion that the person is affiliated with an organization that opposes the business's beliefs. It is, then, somewhat encouraging to learn that the Metro Atlanta Chamber has stated that it will continue to fight hard against the introduction of any such bill. It is worth noting that similar bills have been introduced in recent years, but been struck down or withdrawn.

The Chamber also made it clear that it will also push to encourage better immigration policies, not more restrictive ones. While these goals are based in business practices, it is thankful that some of the most powerful individuals and lobbying groups in the state understand that immigrants benefit the overall state of the region rather than detract.

As we lead into the next year, there will almost certainly be some added difficulty and heartbreak for the immigrant community, both throughout the country and here in Georgia. If you are facing an immigration issue, it is vital that you have help on your team that can assist you in navigating the changing field of immigration law, and fight for your right to pursue the American dream alongside the rest of the country.

Source: WABE, "Metro Atlanta Chamber: Opposing Religious Freedom Bills A Priority," Tasnim Shamma, Nov. 30, 2016

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