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Georgia tops nation in Hispanic growth
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | Sept. 18, 2003 | MARK BIXLER

Posted on 09/18/2003 9:31:31 AM PDT by citizen

The Hispanic population grew faster in Georgia than in any state in the nation from 2000 to 2002, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures released today.

Lured by jobs and relatives, a net gain of about 102 Hispanics a day came to Georgia in the last two years from Latin America, mainly Mexico, and from states with much larger Hispanic populations, such as California, Texas and Illinois.

Georgia's Hispanic community grew 17 percent, to about 516,500, the latest evidence of profound transformation of a state long cast in black and white.

The pattern repeated itself around the Southeast, in places with little sustained history of Hispanic settlement. The eight states with the fastest growing Hispanic populations included North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.

The analysis also shows that metro Atlanta experienced the most rapid Hispanic growth rate among the nation's 20 most populous metro areas. The census says rural Dawson County, about 60 miles north of downtown Atlanta, had the most dramatic increase in Hispanic population -- 59 percent growth -- though only 2 percent of people in Dawson County are Hispanic.

Gwinnett County has the highest concentration of Hispanics -- 13 percent -- of the 28 counties that meet the federal definition of metro Atlanta.

About 6 percent of Georgians and 7.5 percent of metro Atlantans are Hispanic.

It is the promise of work that attracts people such as Emma Paz, a young Honduran who cleans rooms for $8.30 an hour at the Renaissance Atlanta Hotel in downtown Atlanta. She left her native Honduras in 1991 and joined siblings in Los Angeles, where she found a factory job sewing clothes.

Her pay hinged on production, she said, and averaged a paltry $3 an hour. So she wasted no time after a friend told her about plentiful jobs in Georgia.

"In California, there were no good jobs," she said in Spanish on Wednesday afternoon. "There are more jobs here."

Open job market

Some industries to which Hispanics gravitate have openings despite an economic slowdown, said Stephanie Bohon, a University of Georgia sociology professor.

She attributed some growth in the Hispanic population to the arrival of men in search of jobs, but also pointed to a growing number of women and children. Many young men from Latin America who have worked here for several years want relatives to join them.

"Now they can afford to bring their wives and children," she said.

When Paz came to Atlanta in 1996, half the housekeepers at the Renaissance hotel were Hispanic and half were black. Now 95 percent speak Spanish as their native tongue.

They push gray plastic carts through hotel corridors to deliver bottles of shampoo and conditioner, rolls of toilet paper, white shower caps and boxes of facial and bath soap. They vacuum, make beds and clean bathrooms.

Francis Antunez knows the routine well. She started cleaning rooms at the Renaissance about the same time as Paz. Now she manages a housekeeping staff of 70 workers. One difference between her and most of the housekeepers, she said, is that she speaks fluent English. Her parents brought her from Mexico to Chicago at age 4.

She said most housekeepers in her hotel know English terms like "good morning" and "shaving cream," but lack the command of the language that helped her move from a job paying $6 an hour to a position that pays $40,000 a year.

Most of the housekeepers she hires were born in Mexico, El Salvador or Honduras. About half came directly to Atlanta from those countries, she said. Others came from elsewhere in the United States.

All are keenly aware of an economic reality articulated by Maricela Gutierrez, a housekeeper who followed a brother and sister from Acapulco, Mexico, to metro Atlanta in 1997.

"What you can earn in one week there is what you earn here in two days," she said in a hallway on the 23rd floor of the hotel.

UGA's Bohon and a colleague, housing and consumer economics professor Jorge Atiles, interviewed more than 300 Latinos and social-service providers in Georgia for a study published last year. They suggested the rapid demographic changes and economic recession may exacerbate social tension between native-born Americans and their Spanish-speaking neighbors.

"When the economy goes bad, tension goes up," Atiles said.

Bohon said her research showed that the people most likely to have concerns about the Hispanic influx were older residents outside metro Atlanta. They tended to be native-born Georgians or people who had lived in the state for many years.

Illegal immigrant issue

One common complaint is that many Hispanics in Georgia are illegal immigrants. No one knows the precise number, but Bohon said she believes people tend to exaggerate the illegal immigrant population.

Immigration authorities said this year that 228,000 illegal immigrants live in Georgia, though it is not known how many are from Latin America as opposed to other regions. But national estimates are that 76 percent of all illegal immigrants are Hispanic.

Growth of the state's Hispanic population has enormous implications for just about every major institution in the state.

A growing number of businesses recognize an emerging and powerful consumer market: A recent UGA study said Hispanic buying power in Georgia soared from $1.3 billion in 1990 to $10.2 billion this year.

Local governments spend money to hire translators and interpreters to work in courts, schools and police departments. Other institutions lack the funds to do that, Atiles said.

Delivery room indicator

One of the most telling signs of the future: Spanish-speaking nurses are suddenly in demand in hospital obstetrics wards. A growing number of babies born in Georgia are Hispanic boys and girls who are likely to come of age in a different Georgia.

"The Latino population is here to stay," Bohon said, "and it's going to get larger."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: census; illegalimmigration; schools
Schools adjust to rise in Spanish speakers

By ROCHELLE CARTER Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fair Oaks Elementary School Principal Pete Robertson knew how to express his gratitude for the luncheon the school's Mexican parents provided this week for National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Robertson spent 16 days this summer in Apizaco, Mexico, in a cram session of language and culture to help him interact with his south Cobb school's growing Hispanic population -- 62 percent of his school's 690 kids and growing.

"I was able to speak to the general audience," said Robertson, who was one of 19 Cobb educators to take the trip. "Last year I just waved."

With the Hispanic population growing fast in Georgia, Robertson said more educators will have to take similar steps if they want to work effectively with the new students and their families.

New census data show that children ages 4 and under make up the fastest growing age group among Georgia's Hispanics.

From 2000 to 2002, the number of Hispanic youngsters in that age range grew 36.5 percent in Atlanta's 28-county metro area. That's an increase of 10,774 children in two years.

By comparison, the number of non-Hispanic children 4 and under grew by just 6.2 percent over those two years. The total Hispanic population grew by 22.8 percent in the metro area during that period.

This influx of Hispanic students will drive an already growing need for more translators, bilingual teachers and English for Speakers of Other Languages programs in the region's public schools, officials said Wednesday. It will also continue to push educators to re-examine how they teach.

The oldest children in the census figures started kindergarten this year.

Robertson sees their younger siblings when they come to parent-teacher conferences or wait at the bus stop with their parents.

"You can see there is a wave of children in two or three years waiting to come into the kindergarten program," Robertson said.

Maria Montalvo, coordinator of the English for Speakers of Other Languages program in Fulton County Schools, said the population has grown so much that only a couple of schools in the county don't have ESOL programs. She coordinates 168 ESOL teachers to work with a largely native Spanish-speaking population. The Fulton school system hired interpreters 500 times this year for events such as parent-teacher conferences, compared with 36 times four years ago, she said.

"We now translate everything [that is sent home to parents] into four languages," Montalvo said.

Coweta County's population of Hispanic infants through 4-year-olds grew 45.2 percent from 2000 to 2002, the largest leap in Atlanta's close-in suburban counties. The number of Hispanic students enrolled in Coweta more than doubled from 226 in March 2000 to 589 in March 2003, according to the Georgia Department of Education. The school system's overall population grew by 2,084 in the same period to 18,310.

The county has eight ESOL teachers who work with 140 students, most of them Hispanic, said Susan Wareham, Coweta County Schools' director of preschool and ESOL programs. But 21 teachers have earned an ESOL endorsement on their teaching certificate in response to the system's changing population.

"I'm not worried right now because I know we could staff our program as it gets larger," Wareham said.

Greg Bautista, president of the Hispanic Committee of Gainesville/Hall County, said the public schools are trying hard to work with the state's growing Hispanic population. But he fears that other Georgians will see Hispanics as a group that's sucking resources from the schools.

"I think we have the opportunity to really be proactive," Bautista said. "Reaching out to this population doesn't have to mean reinventing the wheel and spending a lot of money. We're early enough in the growth . . . to be able to build the infrastructure in Georgia schools to be able to respond to this growing population effectively. "

1 posted on 09/18/2003 9:31:31 AM PDT by citizen
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To: All
Where's the Bookmark button?
2 posted on 09/18/2003 9:34:00 AM PDT by citizen (Write-in Tom Tancredo President 2004!)
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To: citizen
It's there at the end of the article.
3 posted on 09/18/2003 9:35:28 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: citizen
Ethnic diversity in the restaurant business will entail Tacos with a side order of grits. lol
4 posted on 09/18/2003 9:36:06 AM PDT by verity
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To: verity
Either that or peach burritos.
5 posted on 09/18/2003 9:37:07 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: citizen
And so it begins. how long until Georgia is the east coast version of Kalifornia?
6 posted on 09/18/2003 9:37:12 AM PDT by conservativefromGa (www.awbansunset.com)
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To: verity
My brother moved to Gainesville from California 15 years or so ago...he says now at least he can find decent Mexican food, where he couldn't awhile back.
7 posted on 09/18/2003 9:37:50 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (Why do the Flag postage stamps peel off upside down..infiltrators?)
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bump
8 posted on 09/18/2003 9:38:48 AM PDT by new cruelty
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To: citizen
The rising Latino population shall make the Georgia state flag controversy an irrelevant issue in the near future. Forget about the stars & bars, people will be debating whether or not to fly the Mexican flag.
9 posted on 09/18/2003 9:40:34 AM PDT by Kuksool
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To: citizen; billbears; 4ConservativeJustices
North Carolina is right behind Georgia on this list.

Why are they REALLY being allowed to invade this nation, without even a play-like attempt of enforcing laws against these illegals?????

10 posted on 09/18/2003 9:41:14 AM PDT by Ff--150 (we have been fed with milk, not meaton)
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To: citizen

11 posted on 09/18/2003 9:41:24 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Please direct all Quality Control complaints to Tijeras_Slim)
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To: citizen
Illegal immigration is a problem that is no longer exclusive to California. It is spreading everywhere in America. No state/No town/No community is immune from the Aztlan invasion. Southerners ought to stop whining about Yankees moving into the South. Illegal immigration is a far more serious threat than Yankees. If Southern folks don't do something to stop the influx of illegal invaders; then in 10 years Southerners shall be whistling Aztlan, instead of Dixie.
12 posted on 09/18/2003 9:43:19 AM PDT by Kuksool
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To: johniegrad
Thanks, it was sort of in the middle.
13 posted on 09/18/2003 9:43:21 AM PDT by citizen (Write-in Tom Tancredo President 2004!)
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To: johniegrad
That is creative cuisine!
14 posted on 09/18/2003 9:43:37 AM PDT by verity
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To: conservativefromGa
"And so it begins. how long until Georgia is the east coast version of Kalifornia?"

That process is well underway.

I lived in LA in the 80's and have lived in ATL since '91. Tha parallels between the two in terms of growth, traffic, smog, demographics, etc. are frightening.

I used to love ATL, but I now see many of the things I hated about LA.

15 posted on 09/18/2003 9:45:30 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Just JDAM!!!)
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To: conservativefromGa
My taxes are going way up largely due to the balooning elementary school population.

We need controlled growth so the new folks are paying their fair share.
16 posted on 09/18/2003 9:47:15 AM PDT by citizen (Write-in Tom Tancredo President 2004!)
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To: conservativefromGa
....I remember many laughing at the immigrant invasion in California.

.... well ha ha ha what goes around comes around!!!!!!!!

17 posted on 09/18/2003 9:50:20 AM PDT by GrandMoM ("What is impossible with men is possible with GOD -Luke 18:27)
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To: Kuksool
debating whether or not to fly the Mexican flag

Ha, they already do. It seems to be required to have it on your vehicle. On Buford Highway, near my office and a major mexican area, all the damn billboards are in spanish and don't bother to stop and converse with anyone in english. I used to tolerate the invaders because they worked so hard, but they really are taking over here.

18 posted on 09/18/2003 9:50:54 AM PDT by doodad
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: conservativefromGa
a state long cast in black and white.

One long term benefit is that Latin Americans act as American melting pot agents. Like oil and water, blacks and whites in Georgia don't marry often however Latin Americans marry both. The blending over time, say 200 years, will greatly reduce segregation and social stratification.

20 posted on 09/18/2003 9:54:18 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: doodad
On Buford Highway, near my office and a major mexican area, all the damn billboards are in spanish and don't bother to stop and converse with anyone in english.

Damn billboards.

21 posted on 09/18/2003 9:54:35 AM PDT by new cruelty
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To: Kuksool
If Southern folks don't do something to stop the influx of illegal invaders

What to do?

Writing your congressmen doesn't seem to be effective just now.

I think it's going to have to get much worse before this becomes a real national issue for the Sheeple...and by the it will be way too late.

The only thing that will get Congress' attention is losing their seats...like my tag-line says, I'm voting for Tom Tancredo.

22 posted on 09/18/2003 9:56:12 AM PDT by citizen (Write-in Tom Tancredo President 2004!)
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To: All
Census shows white flight in Bibb, boom in Georgia's Hispanic population
From staff and wire reports

During the past two years, more white people have left Bibb County than any other county in the state. And more blacks have moved to Bibb than to any other Middle Georgia county, according to the latest census estimates.

While the U.S. Census Bureau computes hard numbers once a decade, each year the bureau also estimates population growth. The 2003 report, released today, includes the first county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin since the 2000 census.

Bibb County's total population grew by 937 people to 154,824, according to estimates. That includes a loss of 1,085 whites and a gain of 2,762 blacks and 41 Hispanics.

The new figures show that Hispanic immigrants have flooded to the South since 2000, many of them attracted by the growing region's surplus of low-paying jobs.

Hispanic populations have grown around the country, but fastest in the South, with Georgia leading the nation with 16.8 percent growth from 2000 to 2002, according to estimates.

Of the 10 states with the highest influx of Hispanics, six of them were in the South: Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.

In Middle Georgia, the largest number of Hispanics moved into Toombs County, which has an estimated 2,448 Hispanics - up 138 from two years ago. Toombs also has the third-largest Hispanic population in Middle Georgia, behind Houston's 3,319 and Bibb's 2,064.

The largest percentage increase in Middle Georgia Hispanic populations was in Bleckley County, where the Hispanic population grew 42.06 percent. The largest decline was in Jones, which dropped by 27.81 percent.

Hispanics were drawn to the South because it needed workers for manual labor in industries such as agriculture, construction, textiles and janitorial work, said Charles Gallagher, a sociology professor at Georgia State University.

"A toilet doesn't get flushed in a hotel, an onion doesn't get cut in a restaurant and a frame doesn't get built on a house without Latino labor," he said.

Following Georgia, Washington, D.C., had the second-highest Hispanic growth, at 16 percent. There were 15.7 percent more Hispanics in North Carolina, 15 percent more in Nevada and 13.9 percent more in Kentucky.

The migration of Hispanics from Latin America to the United States follows a pattern set by many other immigrant groups - spurred by poverty, they seek a new life and better wages in America, Gallagher said.

While Hispanics may make $6 or $7 an hour in labor-intense jobs in the United States, the American dream of social mobility may be out of reach for many of them, he said. That's because the higher-paying work requiring more education is already filled to capacity.

"This is as good as it gets for them," Gallagher said. "It's hard work, it's dangerous work, it's repetitious work. Folks who have been in the U.S. for a few generations, they won't work these jobs."

Longtime Georgia residents said Wednesday it was easy to see the increasing number of Hispanics in the state.

"How couldn't you notice?" asked Pauline Jenkins, as she waited at a bus stop in downtown Atlanta. "They've got a right to be here. Treat everybody fair, that's all I'm saying."

But William Worley worried that Hispanics would take over more blue-collar jobs.

"They'll work cheaper than the average American," said Worley, as he sat on a bench in Centennial Olympic Park. "I don't have anything against the Mexicans or Hispanics, but they make it harder for the rest of us to get jobs."
23 posted on 09/18/2003 9:57:08 AM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
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To: doodad
I am surprised the article made no reference to illegals wanting access to driver's licenses. There is a strong lobbying effort in Atlanta to get driver's licenses for illegals passed. So far the GA General Assembly is cool to that idea. Let's hope it stays that way.
24 posted on 09/18/2003 9:59:43 AM PDT by Kuksool
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To: Kuksool
"How couldn't you notice?" asked Pauline Jenkins, as she waited at a bus stop in downtown Atlanta. "They've got a right to be here. Treat everybody fair, that's all I'm saying."

Pity no one asked her to explain where this right comes from.

25 posted on 09/18/2003 10:05:46 AM PDT by Not_Who_U_Think
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To: citizen
I like how the sociologist plays up the racial tensions between whites and hispanics but makes no mention of the violence and discrimination that blacks have been heaping on hispanics since they started arriving 10 years ago. That is the real story.
26 posted on 09/18/2003 10:08:13 AM PDT by ruppertdog
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To: citizen
"In California, there were no good jobs," she said in Spanish on Wednesday afternoon. "There are more jobs here."

Well, wud-do-ya-know? Ole Calif finally ran out of those menial jobs no one else will do.

We've been warning you open-borders types for years and you didn't listen. Well, here they come........................

27 posted on 09/18/2003 10:14:09 AM PDT by A Navy Vet (government is the problem, not the solution!)
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To: doodad
They will all speak fluent English in one generation. I employ several legal immigrants, some who are US citizens including a Cuban political exile. They all want to learn English, but will never learn it well. However their children are all fluent in English, and are somewhat successful in school and will be positive, productive additions to our country. This is generally the case with most permanent immigrants that I have encountered, whether they are from India, Turkey, Korea or Mexico.
28 posted on 09/18/2003 10:17:33 AM PDT by ruppertdog
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To: conservativefromGa
"And so it begins. how long until Georgia is the east coast version of Kalifornia?"

It's probably not going to happen like that, because the whites in GA are so different from the ones in CA. A very large proportion of CA's problems come from the fact that the white populace is also pretty liberal and dumb. It's like CA and TX. There's similarites and there's big differences.

For instance, about 70% of Georgia's whites seem to be conservative in their voting habits, but only 45 or 50% of Californian whites seem to be that way.
29 posted on 09/18/2003 10:18:56 AM PDT by No Dems 2004
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To: martin_fierro
LOL, not really but still funny.
30 posted on 09/18/2003 10:29:12 AM PDT by Major_Risktaker (CNNCBSCastroCarterClintonsCrimesChavezChad’sCommunismChristaphobic)
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To: citizen
Adios Georgia! Watch your taxes climb. One by one, the States are invaded, culturally polluted and soon Aztlan will be a fact while the pols sit around and do nothing to stop the invasion. Homeland Security can now be called Homeland Insecurity.
31 posted on 09/18/2003 10:32:04 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus (Freerepublic.com is eTruth!)
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To: Major_Risktaker
That's actually the graphic/motto of the Mexican Board of Tourism. I kid you not.
32 posted on 09/18/2003 10:35:49 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Please direct all Quality Control complaints to Tijeras_Slim)
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To: martin_fierro
Hoy en la Casa Blanca HOMELAND SECURITY

Noticias en Breve de la Casa Blanca

Looks like Mexico is the 51st State.

33 posted on 09/18/2003 10:36:43 AM PDT by Major_Risktaker (CNNCBSCastroCarterClintonsCrimesChavezChad’sCommunismChristaphobic)
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To: Paulus Invictus
Aztlanta? Too close for comfort!

g

34 posted on 09/18/2003 10:41:06 AM PDT by Geezerette (... but young at heart!-)
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To: citizen
Buenas dias, y'all.
35 posted on 09/18/2003 10:42:37 AM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: ruppertdog
Well, obviously you haven't been to the growing barrios in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties of California.

I've never gotten an answer to these questions?: How many can the US absorb before losing/lowering its generally high standard of living? 100,000 a year? 1,000,000 a year? 10,000,000 a year? 100,000,000 a year? Do we even have the moral right to want to maintain that standard of living with so many poor in the World. And if we do, where's the cutoff before the ship sinks? Think Europe.

36 posted on 09/18/2003 12:14:45 PM PDT by A Navy Vet (government is the problem, not the solution!)
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To: citizen

37 posted on 09/18/2003 12:45:25 PM PDT by Consort
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To: A Navy Vet
The already generous legal immigration ceiling is more than enough new residents per year.

Of course we have the right to maintain our higher standard of living, even an obligation to do so. If the US economy (standard of living) is halved, the world economy tanks for a long while -- everybody loses.
38 posted on 09/18/2003 1:14:38 PM PDT by citizen (Write-in Tom Tancredo President 2004!)
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To: citizen
"In California, there were no good jobs," she said in Spanish on Wednesday afternoon. "There are more jobs here."

Gee, can't imagine why there are no more good jobs here in Kalifornia. Just because the state legislature chased away virtually every manufacturer from the state, made the taxpayer pay for education and health care for illegals, destroyed workers' compensation, and gave all the illegals drivers licenses and left us all 40 billion in the red-

I can't imagine why.......

39 posted on 09/18/2003 2:45:56 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: johniegrad
Either that or peach burritos.

Never say Georgians arent ethnically diverse.


40 posted on 09/18/2003 4:28:22 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: citizen
The Hispanic population grew faster in Georgia than in any state in the nation

How can that be when most of them get their drivers licences in North Carolina?

41 posted on 09/18/2003 4:43:08 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: citizen
Has anyone ridden MARTA lately, or been to a DMV in N. Atlanta? You’ll swear your in Tijuana…

Quality of life in greater Atlanta is deplorable, traffic, congestion, zero zoning, uncontrolled growth, this place has become a nightmare. Illegal immigrants will surely finish it all off -- cant wait to leave…
42 posted on 09/18/2003 5:09:32 PM PDT by GoShow
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To: conservativefromGa
And so it begins. how long until Georgia is the east coast version of Kalifornia?

This seems to be mostly happening in and around Atlanta. And there are three major difference in you comparison.

First, we threw out a good chunk of our lunatics in the State government in our last election.

Second, we have guns.

Third, we are not afraid to use them.

43 posted on 09/18/2003 5:15:15 PM PDT by Paul C. Jesup
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To: Paul C. Jesup
Fourth...Most of us starting shooting before we learned to hit a curveball.

44 posted on 09/18/2003 5:21:48 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Game on in ten seconds...http://www.fatcityonline.com/Video/fatcityvsdemented.WMV)
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To: Ff--150
Why are they REALLY being allowed to invade this nation, without even a play-like attempt of enforcing laws against these illegals?????

Because politicians DON'T know the Constitution, and the sheeple have been educated brainwashed - any outcry against illegals is met with shouts of "RACIST!"

45 posted on 09/19/2003 5:13:12 AM PDT by 4CJ (Come along chihuahua, I want to hear you say yo quiero taco bell. - Nolu Chan, 28 Jul 2003)
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To: A Navy Vet
I've never gotten an answer to these questions?: How many can the US absorb before losing/lowering its generally high standard of living?

Because we have everything free here. Sure these people can take jobs for $6 an hour and have lots of babies --- it's free hospitalizations, free maternity care, free food with WIC and food stamps, free public schools.

The taxpayers pay their real living costs, the $6/hour is for sending back to Mexico and a few shopping trips to Walmart. Watch the tax rates climb to sky high.

46 posted on 09/19/2003 5:32:58 AM PDT by FITZ
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