Photo: Hundreds of protestors gather in the courtyard of the Alabama statehouse to urge lawmakers to repeal immigration law, HB-56.
This past Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered in the courtyard of the Alabama Statehouse to protest against the state’s immigration law, which is among the toughest in the nation.
Demonstrators from all regions of the state came to demand the repeal of the law and to send a message of love and respect towards illegal immigrants on Valentine’s Day. The demonstrators carried signs addressed to Governor Bentley saying “Gov. Bentley, don’t you have a heart?”, other signs read “No Juan Crow” and “One family, One Alabama”. All the while, the crowd sung in English and Spanish chanting “No more HB56” and distributed lollipops to lawmakers urging them to vote against the strict immigration law.
Alabama lawmakers said they will introduce the bill in coming weeks to make subtle changes. However, according to House majority Leader Micky Hammon, no major changes in softening the law will be made.
However, these temporary changes do not please the demand of protestors, whom seek that the law be repealed in its entirety. Coordinator of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice Zayne Smith stated, ” Tweaks are only temporary Band-Aids, not a permanent solution”.
The HB-56 law, which went into effect this fall after being passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, requires police to determine citizenship in traffic stops and governmental offices to verify residency.
Opponents plan to spend more days in the Legislature lobbying against the law, parts of which have already been blocked by federal courts.