Columnist Tom Crawford, with the Georgia Report, said that even if Deal signs the bill, the buck would stop there:
The U.S. Justice Department will challenge the law in federal court and have it set aside - just as they did with the Arizona law. That's why all this talk about solving the immigration problem at the state level is a sham. This is the federal government's problem and the blame for not resolving it must fall on the people elected to Congress.
In Georgia's case, that would be Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Both have taken a hard-line approach on the issue of immigration, and both voted "nay" to a reform bill in 2007. Chambliss' record. Isakson's record.
In addition to the legal questions of Georgia's bill, implicit in the discussion is the perceived damage such legislation might do to the economy, which in Georgia is largely agricultural. Local growers have said they are worried that if the immigration bill actually goes into effect, many members of their current workforce will jump ship and local farms won't have enough labor to pick crops and tend the fields. Outside of the Atlanta metro, the economic impact could be detrimental.
[Photo credit: Hyosub Shin/AJC - Ouafae Azhari (foreground) shouts out as other demonstrators protest Georgia House Bill 87 outside the Capitol on the final day of the 2011 legislative session.]