Alabama’s Anti-Immigration Law Denies Basic Human Rights


In June of 2011 Alabama passed what some describe as the harshest anti-immigration law in the United States. The Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection (HB 56) ”requires public schools to check students immigration status, criminalizes giving an undocumented immigrant a ride; requiresemployers to use E-Verify to check potential employees status, and instructs police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop if they suspect the person of being an undocumented immigrant.” The effect of HB 56 on children and families has been draconian.

The state claims the law is needed because “Alabama finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness inthis state and that illegal immigration is encouraged when public agencies within this state provide public benefits with verifying immigrationstatus.” Read the entire billhere.

We Belong Together, an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum, believes Alabama’s anti-immigration laws deny basic human rights and access to basic human needs. To raise their voices in protest to this law,We Belong Together convened a national delegation to travel to Alabama, home to a rich history of civil rights in American history.

The We Belong Together Women’s Human Rights Delegation joined with other women working at the forefront of immigration rights in Alabama to become more educated on the negative impact of this state law. They sought to put a human face to the very real problems families experience as a result of HB 56. They learned of mothers being forced to identify friends to gather their children if they are randomly stopped, detained and not released. They learned that families live in fear that they will be separated from each other.

One delegate shared that an estimated 20-40 percent of Latino residents in Alabama live in mobile homes. HB 56, however, makes it illegal for an undocumented person to engage in business transactions. Yet as owners of mobiles homes, the law requires a licensing fee be paid for their homes. The way the law is written, because they are not to conduct business, it is illegal for them topay their fees. It is also illegal for them not to pay the fees as their contractual obligations outline.

Since the interpretations of the law can be random, the courts recently issued a temporary injunction against this particular contradictory provision of the law, but various interpretations in other realms have resulted in families having their electricity, water and gas services shut off.

According to Cecillia Wang, Director of the ACLU Immigrants Rights Project, these results were “part of the legislative scheme to make life so difficult for immigrant families that they would ‘deport themselves.’”

In solidarity with immigrant families nationwide, We Stand Together is committed to using real life stories of families to educate the public that attacks on immigrants are violations of the fundamental human rights we all share.


Related Stories:

Will The Latino Vote Decide The Next President?

The Disastrous Consequences of Alabama’s Anti-Immigration Law

Most Americans Want ‘Path to Citizenship’ for Immigrants


Photo credit: cliff1066


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Gar M.
Gar M5 years ago

What don't you bleeding-heart liberals understand about ILLEGAL? Look it up in the dictionalry if you don't understand the meaning. They entered the USA ILLEGALLY and should be deported (once) then imprisoned for 10 years if they return. They deserve NOTHING from us. You want to be here? Enter legally!

Congratulations Alabama. The rest of the states have lawmakers with a jellyfish for a spine

Stacy S.
Stacy S5 years ago

Thank you. Amazing how archaic we still are in some states.

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

"In solidarity with immigrant families nationwide, We Stand Together is committed to using real life stories of families to educate the public that attacks on immigrants are violations of the fundamental human rights we all share." --I'm with you all the way! Thank you!

KS Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

So, instead of having employed, educated immigrants in your state, you'll have unemployed, uneducated ones who can't speak the language or feed their families? How is that supposed to be an improvement?

Bartley Deason
Bartley Deason5 years ago

Lauren B.
Thanks! Wonder why others cannot see it that way?
Wonder how many tomatoes are rotting on the ground in Alabama?

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran5 years ago


Morgan Forrester
Past Member 5 years ago

I don't think ANYONE deserves preferential treatment,but then I don't think our government has the right to say who it is our government and the lobbyists etc who benefit from preferential treatment......remember,the laws they enforce against us,are the very same they choose to break,ignore or allow preferential treatment for.Allowing basic human needs is just being HUMAN. ......(alot of people aboard that boat in the meditteranian would've lived...IF PEOPLE would've ONLY been human!} I think that's our biggest issue...hmmm...."How to be HUMAN".....Such a tragedy as I really think there ought to be a handbook nowadays.

iii q.
g d c5 years ago