SouthernPovertyLawCenterReportFindsGrowingHostilityAgainstAlabamaLatinosFollowingPassageofAnti-ImmigrantLaw Report Released Ahead of Oral Arguments in Federal Court
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report today that shows Alabama’s anti-immigrant law has created a xenophobic climate where Latinos have experienced harassment, hardship and discrimination regardless of their immigration status.
The report, Alabama’s Shame: HB 56 and the War on Immigrants, features the stories of Latinos from across Alabama. They describe being cheated out of wages, denial of medical treatment and a growing hostility against all Latinos since the passage of the anti-immigrant law known as HB 56. The report calls for the law’s repeal, citing the stories as evidence that HB 56 attacks the basic human dignity of all Latinos.
The report can be read at www.splcenter.org/hb56. Video interviews with the subjects of this report will be released periodically on the SPLC’s website at www.splcenter.org. The report is being released the same week the SPLC and others will give oral arguments in federal court before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
“These stories are the human face of HB 56. They are the mothers, fathers and children living under a law that has given a nod and a wink to the worst prejudices harbored by some residents,” said SPLC Legal Director Mary Bauer, author of the report. “If lawmakers are unwilling to repeal HB 56 knowing this is the type of misery they have created, we can only assume they intended to inflict this cruelty all along.”
The report includes the following stories from Alabama Latinos:
• A health clinic refused to treat a young girl due to her immigration status. Days later, she had to undergo emergency surgery.
• A family with young children lived in a home without running water for 40 days because their “papers” were not in order.
• After asking to be paid for her work, a day laborer had a gun pointed at her by her boss who declared he didn’t have to pay her because she didn’t have “papers.”
• Latino U.S. citizens have reported enduring taunts of “Go back to Mexico” and being treated with suspicion. One U.S. citizen described having to provide “American” identification to complete a routine purchase at a store – simply because he is Latino.
Other Latinos describe how a simple traffic stop can become a harrowing ordeal that tears families apart. In another story, a mother said she kept her children
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