Appeals And Writs

Appeals And Writs Metro Atlanta area

Administrative Law

While there has been a dispersion of Hispanics to all parts of the country during the past thirty years, the South has seen a particularly large population increase. More specifically, the Southeast states of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have all had 100% or more Hispanic population increases over the past ten years. [2] Within those three states, most of the Hispanic migration has been towards economically prosperous parts of the South, such as the cities of Atlanta, Charlotte and the respective surrounding areas. [2]

The number of Hispanics living in the Metro Atlanta area has grown considerably since the 1990s, when the Hispanic population first started to boom. Unlike the 1970s, when most Hispanic migration to Georgia consisted of single men coming to work in urban construction or migrant farming, the Hispanic migration today is family-driven with an emphasis on permanent settlement. [1]

As of the 2010 census, there were 819,887 Hispanics living in Georgia (up from 462,000 in 1996), making it the 10th largest state for Hispanics in the United States. [4, 5] Of those 819,000, approximately 50% lived in four counties: Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett. Of those four counties, Gwinnett experienced the fastest growth rate of 126% from 2000 through 2009. [4] If the 819,000 Hispanics in Georgia, approximately 43% own his or her own home, but 49% do not have health insurance. [4]

Why the South?

There are several reasons behind the Hispanic migration to southern states, most of which are economic. First, the Southern states are inexpensive when compared to the Northeast, Midwest, or Western counterparts. Land is relatively cheap so it’s possible for Hispanic workers to buy a house and start accumulating wealth. And second, the South, particularly Atlanta, has plenty of job opportunities, both agriculturally and construction-based.

Legislative attempts to remove illegal aliens

In 2011, Georgia passed bill HB-87 into law, which, like it’s counterparts in Arizona and Alabama, required local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people who cannot provide identification, and punishes anyone who harbors or transports undocumented individuals. [6] Persons who cannot produce identification are likely to be deported.

In response to this law, many Atlanta immigration attorneys filed a petition in federal court to strike down the law or, at the least, push back the full enactment of the law until a ruling can be issued by the United States Supreme Court. These Atlanta immigration lawyers were successful in that a federal judge struck down the most controversial sections of HB-87 because it pre-empted federal law on the same subject. [6]


[1] “Hay Trabajo in Georgia” (There’s work in Georgia), 1975-1995

[2] Census Shows More Hispanics Moving to N.C.

[4] Pew Hispanic Center

[5] Hispanic and Latino Communities in Metro Atlanta

[6] Who Gains after Federal Judge Blocks Immigration Law?