Immigration Bill Author Receiving Death Threats

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ATLANTA - One week before Georgia's controversial immigration law takes effect, both sides are waiting for a federal judge to decide if it can be enforced.

State Rep. Matt Ramsey told Channel 2's Lori Geary he has no regrets about authoring the bill and pushing it through the General Assembly, even though he's received death threats and hate mail.

Ramsey also told Geary he won't be surprised if U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash rejects part of the law. Thrash is expected to deliver his decision next week.

"At the end of the day, July 1, a huge portion, if not all, of this law is going to go into effect," Ramsey said.

Ramsey told Geary he thinks the Thrash had made up his mind before a hearing that took place on Monday, but he's ready to appeal.

"We'll go to the 11th Circuit (court) and see what they have to say about it," Ramsey said.

Georgia farmers, like Jason Tyrone of Lake Park, told Channel 2 Action News the law is already hurting them. Tyrone's 40-acre cucumber field has been left to rot, an estimated $40,000 loss, because he can't find enough workers.

"They're just scared to come here," Tyrone said.

"If you're in the country illegally, there are other states you can go to," Ramsey responded to the news of disappearing migrant workers. Ramsey suggested farmers use a federal guest worker program and he applauded Gov. Nathan Deal's idea for getting probationers to do the field work.

"I continue to hear they're doing jobs that Americans won't do. There are a lot of people out there that are desperate to feed their family, desperate to put food on the table. People will do just about anything when times are tough," Ramsey said.


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