Today, the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights stands in solidarity with the “One Family, One Alabama” campaign to end Alabama’s anti-immigration policies that have destroyed thousands of lives as families are torn apart. After the passage of the state’s harsh immigration law, HB56, thousands of immigrants have left the state, decimating the state’s economy and perpetuating an ongoing climate of terror and fear for women and their families.
“Alabama has clearly shown that immigration policies built on intimidation and fear do nothing but create havoc and disarray”, said Jessica González-Rojas of National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights. “Since it went into effect, thousands of Alabamans have been forced to flee, abandoning homes and jobs, and those who have decided to stick it out in the state’s hostile environment may find themselves without water, work, or even a home.”
Considered one of the most extreme laws in the country, HB 56 now means that some children of immigrants will be turned away at the schoolhouse door and allows public utility companies to turn off electricity and water in the homes of immigrants even when they are paying customers.
Supported by Congressman Luis Gutierrez and other members of Congress, the “One Family, One Alabama” campaign also calls on the Department of Homeland Security to end its use of immigration programs, like S-Comm (“Secure Communities”), that allow for racial profiling and human rights violations when enforcing laws like HB56 in Alabama.
New research from the Applied Research Center has found “families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement and that immigrant victims of domestic violence are at particular risk of losing their children.”
“The attacks on families in Alabama is completely repugnant,” said Miriam Yeung, speaking on behalf of the National Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “The human cost of this legislation is simply too high. The Department of Homeland Security needs to do more than rhetorically rebuke Alabama for this law; it needs to end federal immigration policies that condone human rights violations.”
Half of Alabama’s undocumented population lives in mixed-status families—families that include at least one U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Analysts estimate than as many as 28,000 U.S. citizen children in Alabama could be separated from a parent due to family immigration status.