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Fighting words over ‘Fighting 529’

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

When Latino advocate Jerry Gonzalez showed “Fighting 529,” his documentary slamming Georgia Senate Bill (SB) 529, at Georgia Tech in March, the last person he expected to see in the audience was state Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), author of the bill.

When it goes into effect this July, SB 529 will cut most public benefits to adult illegal immigrants, bar employers from deducting their wages from state taxes and check immigration status on foreign nationals jailed for felonies and drunken driving.

Rogers crashed the party to lend a little balance to the reporting, he claimed. The film, which questions the motives of the Georgia legislature and hints at possible racial bias behind the immigration legislation, was screened for about 75 students. All the while, Rogers paced the hall outside.

Then Rogers addressed the audience, calling the law a color-blind attempt to enforce immigration laws. Gonzalez interrupted and Rogers shouted, “You had your 20-minute propaganda film, now please let me speak.” Gonzalez gave the uninvited guest 10 minutes.  

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