Alabamians Protest Anti-Immigrant Law Outside State Capitol
Yesterday marked the first day of the Alabama legislature’s 2012 session, and the first time state representatives have met since HB 56, the radical anti-immigrant legislation they passed last year, was allowed to go into effect.
Since then, the law’s impact on the state has been devastating. It caused a mass exodus of Alabama workers, left farmers’ crops rotting on the vine, scared thousands of children from attending school, led to the embarrassing arrests of two foreign business executives, and will cost the state up to $11 billion.
The backlash from national observers and Alabamians has been so severe, that even the House GOP Majority Whip who previously voted for the bill is already proposing substantial changes as a result of negative constituent feedback.
Last night, in advance of Governor Robert Bentley’s state of the state address, Alabama residents and faith leaders organized by the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice held a candle light vigil outside of the State Capitol in opposition to the law. Forming a human “love thy neighbor” banner, they sent a powerful reminder that this kind of mean-spirited and harmful legislation has no place with the values of people of faith and concerned citizens of Alabama.
Watch a video of vigil participants explaining their reasons for coming out to oppose HB 56 last night: