In Georgia, we need to begin to wonder aloud what would happen if there were an ICE raid similar to what happened in Mississippi. Many of Georgia’s industries rely heavily upon immigrant labor, much of which is undocumented. What would Georgia do with such a serious humanitarian and economic crisis?
What would happen to the economy and community in Gainesville should ICE raid the poultry industry? What about Dalton and the ailing textile industry? Or what would happen to our farmers in South Georgia who rely heavily on immigrant labor and already are suffering increased fuel costs?
Will U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson intervene, similar to what happened with raids on the Vidalia onion farms in our recent history?
The fact is that Crider Poultry Processing in Stillmore was raided over Labor Day in 2006. It has not yet recovered from the raid and is not up to full production. It shifted jobs to Alabama and tried hiring prisoners and homeless people, to no avail. The ICE raid devastated the town, and it has not recovered.
The toll to Georgia businesses already bruised with the bad economy and the humanitarian toll of families torn apart would be devastating to these Georgia communities. Yet, that is what an enforcement-only solution rather than a comprehensive immigration reform solution would bring.
It is a shame that our U.S. senators walked away from a solution, and we may pay the price for it. Is Georgia ready for the consequences of a devastating ICE raid?
Executive director, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, Atlanta
Hall Sheriff Cronic shows a big heart
I would like to thank to Sheriff Steve Cronic. My sister, who is an employee at the sheriff’s office, recently was hospitalized for an illness. During her stay, Sheriff Cronic stopped by to see her and check on her welfare.
During his visit, Sheriff Cronic asked my sister if there was anything he could do and she said, "just remember me in your prayers." Sheriff Cronic immediately asked "Can I pray with you now?" He prayed with her and then said goodbye.
We are a very blessed county to have a sheriff who cares for us as he does. Thank you, Sheriff Cronic!