Alabama News Network: Occupy Birmingham, Rally in Montgomery

Alabama News Network: Occupy Birmingham, Rally in Montgomery

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Traducción al español

The top legal official in the state with the country's toughest immigration law has suggested throwing out parts of the law after challenges by the federal government and strong protests by rights and business groups. In his first public concerns about the law, expressed in a letter to legislative leaders obtained by the Associated Press, Alabama Atty. Gen. Luther Strange said the proposed changes would make the law "easier to defend in court" and "remove burdens on law-abiding citizens."
Here is what has been reported by the LA Times and the New York Times.

Occupy Birmingham

Last week, members of the Occupy Birmingham movement branched out from their camp and marched with other Alabama civic and religious organizations to the Etowah County Detention Center to protest the state’s harsh immigration law, which has been challenged in court as racial profiling, among other things.

Occupy Birmingham says it has a long list of objections to the law, H.B. 56, but it names the jailing of people for profit as one of the factors that ties the Occupy movement with immigrant rights.

Click here to learn more

HB 56 and the Economy

This week Jairo Vargas, Publisher of Latino News, wrote an op-ed for New America Media on the economic impact of the HB 56. Vargas says the circumstances surrounding the HB 56, not only touch the human aspect of immigrants but also, put the state in an economic situation that could sink further into the measuring table productivity levels and poverty.

Click here to read article in Spanish.

Business Community Denounces HB 56

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) Tuesday called on the Alabama legislature to significantly revise the state’s controversial immigration law during the upcoming 2012 legislative session. Employers from around the seven-county Birmingham region have expressed concerns about the new law and the unintended consequences it has imposed on employers, particularly those already struggling in an uncertain economy. Furthermore, business leaders believe the law as currently written does not reflect the values of fairness and compassion embraced by Alabama citizens.

“The BBA believes it is important to enact immigration laws that can be administered in a fair and even-handed way. Revisions to the current law are needed to ensure that momentum remains strong in our competitive economic development efforts,” said James T. McManus, chairman of the BBA and CEO of Energen Corp. “We value the leadership of Governor Bentley in acknowledging that simplification of the law is necessary. We also appreciate the willingness of the legislative leadership to improve the law. We stand ready to work with all of them to develop revisions to the statute that will preserve our ability to grow Alabama’s economy and create jobs.”

The BBA is concerned that the law taints the image and perception of Alabama, both nationally and internationally; that penalties on businesses and individuals violating the statute are uncertain and in some cases unreasonably severe; and that limited resources at a local level make enforcing the law a burden on struggling governmental entities.

Upcoming Events

Immigrant rights advocates and civil rights leaders from Alabama and across the country are working on repealing HB56 during a summit hosted by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Dec. 16-17 which will be held in Montgomery, Ala. at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, 201 Tallapoosa Street, 
Montgomery, Ala.

Attendees will fight to repeal HB 56, organize to block similar state bills around the country, and advance the cause of justice for all.

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 Governor Bentley’s mansion under the banner: One Family, One Alabama: HB 56 Hurts All Alabamians. Children and families will deliver their wishes to Governor Bentley to call for an end to racial profiling, and to call for keeping families together and building a better Alabama.

Immigrant National Convention joined by hundreds of advocates from 20 states.

Friday, December 16, at 7 pm
Opening Plenary: Discussion on Freedom Rides and Today's Struggle for Immigrant Rights

Saturday, December 17; rally at 10:30 am march at 11:30 am
Rally and March to Governor’s Mansion, Saturday

WHERE: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, 201 Tallapoosa Street, 
Montgomery, AL 36104

For more information visit For media inquiries contact Donna De La Cruz at