June 27, 2011, Atlanta, Ga … ADL Southeast Regional Director Bill Nigut today issued the following statement in reaction to U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash's decision to enjoin the state of Georgia from enacting two controversial provisions of the state's new immigration law (HB 87). ADL filed an amicus brief in support of the civil rights organizations that brought the suit to block the new law.
"We are deeply gratified by Judge Thrash's ruling, which recognizes the questionable legality of two provisions in the new Georgia law: The section empowering police to investigate the legal status of suspects being questioned for state or federal crimes and the provision punishing people who knowingly transport or harbor undocumented residents.
"From the day that HB 87 was first introduced, ADL has asserted that the measure would have a profound impact on the civil rights of Georgia residents and could pose significant challenges to the community policing efforts of local and state law enforcement agencies; and so we are very pleased that the injunction will stop implementation of the sections of the law directly related to police stops "
ADL's amicus brief, filed in support of the plaintiffs in the case focused on the potentially devastating impact the new law could have on law enforcement agencies investigating violent crimes in communities with large populations of Hispanics.
"We believe that HB 87 poses a substantial threat of deterring Latinos from reporting crimes or serving as witnesses in criminal investigations, and that it will impede police investigations of crimes against legal and undocumented residents alike," Nigut said.