Federal Appeals Court Must Declare Alabama’s Immigration Law Unconstitutional
by Community Change | January 25, 2012 12:00 am
Doing So Would Help Prevent Other States From Enacting Anti-Immigration Laws
January 25, 2012
WASHINGTON—A three-judge panel is slated to hear arguments tomorrow from the state and federal government over Alabama’s vehemently anti-immigrant law, HB56. In September, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn refused to block some of the law’s toughest provisions.
The hearing in Atlanta comes just days before the anniversary of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, the climactic event of the voting rights demonstrations. At this year’s march, Latinos, Blacks, civil rights, immigrant rights, labor groups and others will all come together to remember the struggle and to continue the fight for civil rights.
“The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals must declare Alabama’s immigration law unconstitutional, and doing so would help prevent many other states from enacting similar anti-immigrant measures,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change. “America needs sensible, federal immigration reform, not 50 different state level policies that threaten to take us back to a darker day in civil rights history.”
Under HB56 local law enforcement officers must determine the immigration status for anyone they stop, detain or arrest. This requirement, which raises the specter of racial profiling (driving while brown), undermines trust in law enforcement and public safety and threatens civil liberties.
“This law discriminates, humiliates and persecutes immigrants. In 2012, to think that Alabama lawmakers passed such a racially discriminatory law is reprehensible,” Bhargava said. “This law must be removed from the books. Not doing so puts our country in danger of repeating an extremely hateful period of our history.”
Community Change for Community Change’s mission is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives. Community Change strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power. Founded in 1968 to honor the life and values of Robert F. Kennedy, the Center is one of the longest-standing champions for low-income people and communities of color.