GBM has been a lead organization in the fight against the nation’s most unjust and inhumane anti-immigrant legislation, HB 56. In December, we hired GBM’s first bi-lingual community organizer to help us better weave our coordination throughout the people of color communities in our concentration districts. We are a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging HB56, and play a leadership role with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) to repeal the law. GBM is the anchor organization for this coalition at this time. Our Associate Director, Rev. Angie Wright, serves as Chair of ACIJ and mentors the young organizers on the staff. GBM brings its long history of organizing and social justice advocacy to the table, a necessary complement to the strengths contributed by policy and service organizations.
GBM has educated and organized congregations across the state to stand against anti-immigrant policies and practices. We unified over two hundred clergy from around the state to fight the law, signed a statement against the law, and participated in hearings, press conferences, rallies and marches organized by the larger ACIJ movement.
Significant victories have been achieved at every level of the court battles, and much of the law is now overturned. A precedent-setting settlement was reached with the state rendering toothless the remaining portion of the law. Tremendous progress has been made in community organizing among immigrant neighborhoods. Instead of being driven out by vicious legislation, Latino leaders have emerged in 22 communities across the state to stand up for the human and civil rights of their people. They gather monthly for leadership development training and planning ways to advocate for their families and communities. We have also helped a number of legislators stand against HB56, and saw no new introduction of anti-immigrant legislation in 2013. We are organizing support for humane comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.