New Report Shows Georgia’s ‘Felony Driving Law’s’ Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

New Report Shows Georgia’s ‘Felony Driving Law’s’ Disproportionate Impact on Communities of Color

Advancement Project, GLAHR Unveil Report Documenting Law’s Disproportionate Effects

Read the Report:

Atlanta – A new report by Advancement Project and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) finds that Georgia’s “felony driving law” has produced staggeringly disproportionate arrests and penalties in communities of color, even though the number of White residents is much higher in the jurisdictions examined. Further, the law also replicates the “ATM effect” that the U.S. Dept. of Justice found in Ferguson, Mo. and its surrounding areas, transferring large amounts of money from poor families to local governments. After publishing the report, the national civil rights and racial justice organization Advancement Project, partner organizations and affected parties released the following statements:

“From Fayette County to Roswell City and beyond, people like Ignacio, Toñita, Gloria and their children live every day with the heavy consequences of rampant criminalization by the state’s ‘felony driving law,’” said Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of GLAHR. “They do not pose any kind of threat, yet they are targeted by authorities because the state promotes an environment where people of color are criminalized, deported and used as ATMs for the government. The law was immoral to begin with – it was intended to hurt families who come here to work and give back to the state. Our new report shows that it has devastated communities of color, and we are united in demanding an end to the measure. We will not live in fear, and we will fight this law until families like Toñita’s, Gloria’s and Ignacio’s are no longer besieged by it.”

“This report is a significant first step,” said Francys Johnson, Georgia NAACP President and Stateboro Civil Rights Attorney. “The Georgia NAACP is looking into the pattern and practice of using traffic laws to generate revenue; disenfranchise voters; and deport undocumented Americans. Our goal is to repeal this unjust law.”

“Georgia’s far-reaching, anti-immigrant ‘felony driving law’ was designed to push mothers, fathers and immigrant families to leave the state,” said the report’s lead author, Flavia Jiménez, a Senior Attorney and Director of Immigrant Justice at Advancement Project. “As our new report shows, the law has not only ruined the lives of many it set out to harm; the law affects families well beyond those it targeted, and the effects overwhelmingly burden people of color. As such, we call on state lawmakers to repeal the law, and demand that the U.S. Department of Justice immediately begin a pattern and practice investigation.”

“I am an employer putting two kids through college – a breadwinner trying to help my family succeed,” said Ignacio Portillo, a construction contractor who is father to four children and employs six workers. “When the state charges me more than $1,300 for driving without a license, like it did this week, that’s money I can’t invest into my business or put into my daughters’ education. But let’s be clear: This is a discriminatory law, it is implemented immorally, and it is a stain on the state legislature. We must repeal this law immediately and stop targeting communities of color.”


Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.


Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement in Support of the 2021 DREAM Act

Advancement Project National Office applauds the re-introduction of the DREAM Act by bi-partisan members of the U.S. Senate. The DREAM Act would provide permanent protections for over two million immigrant youth and current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The introduction of this bill is a testament to the power of immigrant youth and allies who have consistently pushed for meaningful legislation that protects our communities from criminalization. And although a step in the right direction, the introduction alone is simply not enough. There must be a specific roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office’s Immigrant Justice Releases Top Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration

Advancement Project National Office’s Immigrant Justice released its top priorities, in collaboration with Juntos, Puente Human Rights Movement, and Florida Immigrant Coalition, for the Biden-Harris Administration. These priorities and recommendations are rooted in Immigrant Justice’s vision of decriminalizing migration and the core beliefs that no one is disposable and all human beings are valuable and worthy of protecting. DOWNLOAD RECOMMENDATIONS (Graphic) DOWNLOAD RECOMMENDATIONS (PDF)…

Read More
Brutality, Abuse, & Neglect at ICA-Farmville Detention Center: Local, National Organizations Expose Deplorable ICA-Farmville Conditions

  The only solution is to free all people detained in ICA-Farmville, and shut it down for good. Advancement Project National Office is working with La ColectiVA, Sanctuary DMV, Detention Watch Network (DWN), and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to make it happen. On August 18, 2020, we released a new white paper and infographic highlighting the deplorable conditions at Immigration Centers of America (ICA) Farmville.  The white paper synthesizes new documents obtained by way of Freedom of Information Act…

Read More
Webinar on the Power of Sheriffs in Florida – August 10, 2020 at 2pET/11aPT

On Monday, August 10, 2020, at 2p ET/11a PT, join Advancement Project National Office, Dream Defenders and New Florida Majority for a webinar on the power and role of sheriffs in Florida, and how sheriffs impact the school-to-prison pipeline. Learn about organizing efforts to defund policing budgets and address harm throughout Florida, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Receive political education about the history of policing and what communities are doing to build power to build a world without police. Register today!  …

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Trump Administration’s Memo Seeking to Dismantle DACA

Washington, D.C. – Advancement Project National Office condemns a memo issued by the Trump Administration today that blatantly ignores the recent Supreme Court ruling to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, and begins the process to dismantle the program. “Just one month after the Trump Administration lost at the Supreme Court in the DACA decision, they issued this memo that completely disregards the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, and we will not stand for this,” said Losmin Jimenez, Immigrant Justice Project Director at Advancement Project National Office. The July 28, 2020 memo states…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Celebrates National Cousin’s Day!

Did you know July 24 is a national holiday? Advancement Project National Office uplifts National Cousins Day today, which celebrates the extended family members we know and love – our cousins. During this sustained moment of protest and unrest across the country, as well as calls for truth, racial justice and reconciliation, it’s time to lean into the honest perspectives our cousins often provide. When it comes to race, our family can harbor views and beliefs that are ill-informed, ignorant, and damaging.  Because of this, conversations around race can…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement on Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Erasing Immigrants from U.S. Census

Today, the Trump Administration launched another attack on immigrants by issuing an executive order that excludes immigrants from being counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. The order comes as the Census is well underway and started on April 1, 2020. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all people living in the United States be counted every 10 years to determine federal funding for all 50 states, territories, and Congressional redistricting. The Constitution requires all people are counted, regardless of immigration status. The U.S. Supreme Court already ruled against the Trump Administration last year in its demand to add a citizenship question…

Read More
¡Si Se Puede! How Cesar Chavez Inspires Us to Challenge COVID-19 Systemic Inequality

By Shuya Ohno, Managing Director of Campaign Strategy Phoenix, AZ – Dolores Huerta at the protest vigil in front of the AZ State Capital in 2010 Today, we commemorate Cesar Chavez Day under a heavy cloud of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Here in New York City where I live, make-shift hospital tents are being set up in Central Park. Nurses tending to victims of the coronavirus are dying. Covid-19 positive pregnant women are being intubated following emergency deliveries. The invisible virus has infected the very character that I’ve always loved about this diverse city. Whether it’s complaining about the…

Read More
Citing the Global Health Pandemic, Civil Rights Organizations Urge State Officials to Release Incarcerated People

Media Contacts: Joshua Garner, 240-326-3874, [email protected] Pennsylvania Immigrant Rights Organizations and Advancement Project National Office Urge Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Agencies to Release People From Incarceration, End Flow Of New People Into Jail, Prison, and Immigration Detention Amid COVID-19 Crisis   Pennsylvania – In a letter sent to state officials Tuesday, Pennsylvania based immigrant rights organizations, Juntos, Casa San Jose, VietLead, Asian Americans United and Advancement Project National Office are calling on the Pennsylvania Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Enforcement & Removal Operations (ICE ERO), the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), sheriff’s offices, and police departments across Pennsylvania to…

Read More
Puente Human Rights Movement and Advancement Project National Office Call On Arizona Governor, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to Release All People From Incarceration, End Flow Of New People Into Jail, Prison, and Immigration Detention Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Citing the global health pandemic, civil rights organization urge state officials to release incarcerated people PHOENIX, AZ–In a letter sent to state officials March 19, Puente Human Rights Movement and Advancement Project National Office are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Immigration & Customs Enforcement & Removal Operations (ICE ERO), the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to protect the lives of vulnerable community members by immediately releasing all people from incarceration and ending the flow of new people into jail, prison, and immigration detention systems amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. The letter, which was…

Read More