Michael Williams’s Deportation Bus Hits a New Low in Republican Primary for Governor
(APN) CLARKSTON — On Wednesday, May 17, 2018, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams, a State Senator from Cumming, Georgia, rolled into the cities of Decatur and Clarkston with his huge “Deportation Bus,” containing racist and hateful messages on the back of the bus: “Murders, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and other criminals on board….follow me to Mexico.”
Clarkston, Georgia is the most diverse square mile in the U.S., with refugees from all over the world exposed to this shameful display of ignorance and xenophobia.
Williams’s campaign website claims that his bus tour of sanctuary cities will visit Georgia’s allegedly most dangerous sanctuary cities: Clarkston, Decatur, and Athens.
Sen. Williams must think that Georgia is such a backward, racist state that his message will propel him into the Governor’s office, but others think that Georgia is better than this.
It seems to be a race to the bottom in the Republican Primary for Governor. Secretary of State Brian Kemp has attracted national disgust after he released a campaign commercial featuring him menacingly pointing a gun at a child.
Not to be outdone, former Sen. Williams sees Kemp’s red meat and raises him a deportation bus: a new low even for a Georgia politician.
Over three hundred Georgians turned out in Clarkston to say NO to this uneducated and mean spirited message.
Williams, the fearless conservative, gave a private interview with the news media from inside the comfort and security of this luxury recreational vehicle that accompanied the bus.
The people outside chanted, “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here.”
“The facts show that in our two communities, that he is targeting today, that immigrants actually made our communities more safe. The facts are that when the refugee resettlement and immigration went up in Clarkston and Decatur the crime rate went down,” Ted Terry, Mayor of Clarkston, told APN.
“Clarkston made the list of the top safest cities in Georgia in 2017 and his [Williams’s] hometown of Cumming, Georgia did not make the list,” Terry said.
“He was here to campaign and not to learn or build bridges. It was very distasteful,” Terry said.
There is no evidence undocumented immigrants commit more crimes as Williams, and President of the U.S. Donald Trump, wants everyone to believe.
Numerous studies have shown that immigrants commit crime at far lower rates than native-born people, according to the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies.
Research suggests that undocumented immigrants are less likely to engage in serious criminal behavior because they seek to earn money and not draw attention to themselves, according to Oxford Research on Criminology and Criminal Justice.
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute in a 2015 report found that over 60,000 new immigrant business owner in Georgia contributed a net 2.9 billion dollars in business income in 2014.
Georgia industries welcome immigrants who work in agriculture, poultry processing, manufacturing, warehousing, tourism, and hospitality. They contribute over nine million dollars to Georgia’s economy.
Williams had planned 27 stops in Georgia that he considers “Sanctuary Cities,” or areas with high immigration, before the May 22, 2018 primary.
In Decatur, one car with a huge Confederate flag, carried a few William supporters.
“We are here to protest the Sanctuary City policies of Decatur and Clarkston who want to harbor criminal illegal aliens who commit violent acts of crime like murder and rape,” Paul Maner, a Williams supporter, said.
“In 2018, it’s a shame that we are still having to talk about racism and bigotry… this cannot be normalized. We have to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters and let it be know that discrimination and racism has no place in Decatur or in Georgia,” Marquese Averett, Clean Energy Program Manager, Sierra Club, said.
Immigrants and refugees come to the U.S. for many reasons: to escape persecution, violence, war, or poverty; or to seek jobs, more opportunities for their children, or family reunification.
“People come to the U.S. because they are refugees of the conditions the U.S. is causing in their countries from Mexico southward. They are responding to the destruction of their economies,” Adrian Bernal said, speaking in English and Spanish to the crowd.
For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), supported by both Democrats and Republicans during the Bill Clinton administration, dumped cheap U.S. corn into Mexico and destroyed many communities where smaller-scale farms grew corn. Many rural farmers could not compete and had to move to Mexico’s urban slums or to the U.S. to survive.
A poll on the governor’s race puts Williams at three percent at the bottom of the Republican candidates.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2018)