Sunday, December 18, 2011

repeal alabama immigration ILLEGAL law

2,500 protesters rally for repeal of immigration law

12:38 AM, Dec. 18, 2011  |  
Opponents of Alabama's immigration law hold signs during a rally at the Capitol in Montgomery on Saturday. / LLOYD GALLMAN/ADVERTISER
Opponents of Alabama's immigration law marched with immigrant and civil rights leaders Saturday from the state Capitol steps to the governor's mansion to send a message of dissatisfaction with what some were call­ing a "mean and ugly law."
Representatives from more than 20 states gathered in Montgomery to call for the rever­sal of the law known as HB 56. Saturday's march ended a two-day Immigrant National Convention, which included members from groups such as the NAACP, National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Service Employee International Union (SEIU).
Officials with the Fair Immigration Re­form Movement in charge of organizing the event estimated a crowd of more than 2,500. Signs that read "One Family, One Alabama" were spread out among the rally participants.
Janet Murguia, president and CEO of NCLR, said she made the trip from Washing­ton, D.C., to join in the call for unity and so­cial justice. She praised the black and Latino communities for coming together for the cause, adding that history brought the pro­testers to Montgomery on Saturday.
"This has been the site for the fight against racism and this is another chapter in that continuum," Murguia said.
Included in the state's immigration law, which was signed by Gov. Robert Bentley in June, are bans to state and local agen­cies from doing business with undocumented immi­grants, a requirement for schools to collect informa­tion on the legal status of stu­dents, and the ability for law enforcement officials during the course of duty to detain people if they have a "rea­sonable suspicion" they are in the country illegally. Sev­eral provisions of the law have been blocked by feder­al courts.
The U.S. Supreme Court currently is reviewing chal­lenges to Arizona's immigra­tion statute, a law that was used as a model for similar state immigration laws, in­cluding Alabama's.
Bentley recently stated he is working with legislative leaders to propose revisions to the law during the upcom­ing legislative session. He said the changes will go to­ward making sure the state has an effective law, but also one that is fair and can be enforced without prejudice.

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