When Alabama passed the harshest anti-immigrant law in the country this fall, lawmakers and Governor Robert Bentley were full of bluster, selling their “attrition through enforcement” strategy as the solution. Just make life in America horrible enough and stamp out opportunity, the thinking goes, and people will leave. Doesn’t exactly ring true to our nation’s founding principles, but certainly provides a sign of the times.
A short time later, those same leaders are scrambling to deal with an exodus of legal residents, an estimated $40 million hit to the economy, and the realization that they upset farmers and other employers who rely on migrant labor, plus demonized school children. In other words, they are facing the dire consequences of disastrous legislation.
Starting today, several of OneAmerica’s staff members are in Alabama with other Immigrant rights advocates and civil rights leaders working to repeal HB56. OneAmerica Executive Director Pramila Jayapal, Organizing Director David Ayala, and organizers Kendra Anderson, Rahwa Habte, and Jazmin Santacruz joined the Immigrant National Convention, which coincides with a national Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) summit.
As part of the national convening, Freedom Riders will join in dialogue with immigrant rights activists to discuss today’s struggle for immigrant rights. Additionally, leaders from civil, immigrant and labor rights organizations: NAACP, SEIU and NCLR will rally on Montgomery Capitol Steps and join a children’s march to Gov. Bentley’s mansion under the banner: One Family, One Alabama: HB 56 Hurts All Alabamians.
Some national leaders at the Convention include:
- "C.T." Vivian, a Baptist minister from Howard, MO, Reverend Cordy was the oldest of the Nashville Freedom Riders
- Catherine Burks, a Birmingham, AL native, was a student at Tennessee State University when she volunteered for the Nashville Movement Freedom Ride
- Victor, a 19-year-old from Alabama who has become a leader in the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) due to the impact that HB-56 is having on his life and family
- Ben Jealous, President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza, (NCLR)
- Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employee International Union (SEIU)
The devastation of Alabama's law may finally be dawning on Alabama's leaders, but we won't let them make cosmetic changes to a violation of justice. HB56 has proven effective at dividing communities, damaging community policing efforts, and driving business out of the state - even ensnaring German and Japanese auto workers.
But the law has also inspired hundreds of advocates from across the country to join with allies in Alabama to help build the movement for justice and inclusion.
- What We Do
- Contact Us
- Work & Volunteer
- National Affiliations
- About the Web Site
- How Do I?
- Immigration Reform
- Immigrant Integration
- State and Local Policy
- Education Policy
- English Innovations
- Racial Profiling
- Research & Reports
- 2010 US Census
- Take Action
- WA Immigration Reform Coalition (WIRC)
- Contact Your Lawmaker
- Share Your Story
- Join the Blog Squad
- Community Groups
- The 2010 Census
- For Media
Citizens for Immigrants
Feet in 2 Worlds
The Opportunity Agenda
Para Justicia y Liberdad
Social Work Immigration Alliance
Reform Immigration for America
The Unapologetic Mexican
We Can Stop the Hate
White Woman in the Barrio