Last September, a federal court judge allowed a sweeping immigration crackdown law to take effect. That legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Bentley in June of 2011, quickly progressed into a unrelenting nightmare for immigrant families living in the state. Many in America had no idea what was happening, and many still don’t.
The stories out of Alabama range from sad to scary to completely horrific. Mary Bauer, the legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported that a mother in northern Alabama was told she could not attend a book fair at her daughter’s school without an Alabama state ID or driver’s license. Another father said that his U.S. citizen daughter came home crying from school after other students told her she did not belong there and needed to go back to Mexico—a country she had never even seen. One woman who was nine months pregnant was too afraid to go to a hospital in Alabama to give birth, and her husband was trying to decide whether to risk having the baby at home or try to make it to Florida.