Alabama Coalition For Immigrant Justice Launches Campaign Against HB 56 Today

~ Kathy McMullen, Associate Director

From Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice:

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice will kick off the campaign against HB 56 at 2:00 PM Central Time tomorrow with a news conference in advance of an Ad Hoc Congressional Hearing being held at the Council Chambers on the 3rdFloor of Birmingham City Hall. Present will be a number of key members of Congress, including immigration reform champion, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), who will listen to stories of those who have been affected by the law. Other members of Congress in attendance are as follows:

  • Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force Chair;
  • Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL);
  • Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA);
  • Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Secretary of the Congressional Black Caucus;
  • Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair;
  • Rep. Al Green (D-TX);
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair;
  • Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX);
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Democrat;
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA); and
  • Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)

The members of Congress will hear from a number of people in the community who have witnessed the adverse effects of the law. On panel one, members of Congress will hear from Sheriff Mike Hale, Jefferson County; Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Superintendent Birmingham City Schools; Mary Bauer, Southern Poverty Law Center Attorney; and Mayor William Bell, Birmingham.

Panel two will consist of testimony from Jose Antonio Castro, La Jefa Radio; Y.J., 17 year old student; Angie Baylon, ESL Teacher Woodlawn and Huffman High School; Alma, concerned parent; Trini, undocumented immigrant from Tuscaloosa; Evangelina Limon, an Alabama business owner; and Francisco Garcia, Alabama Business Owner.

Later in the evening, from 7pm to 9 pm, members of Congress will attend a rally at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmignham, Alabama. The event will officially mark the launch “One Family, One Alabama” Campaign to Repeal HB 56.

Eleven members of Congress, including Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), along with civil rights leaders from around the country, will speak to express the nation’s solidarity with the people of Alabama. State Senator Billy Beasley, sponsor of the proposed bill to repeal HB56, will also speak, along with people whose lives have been damaged by the law.

Also slotted to speak at the event are Zayne Smith, Grassroots leader at ACIJ;Wade Henderson, National Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Mitch Ackerman, SEIU; Hillary Shelton, NAACP, among others. The speakers will address thousands of Alabamians who will gather to challenge Alabama’s state lawmakers to repeal House Bill 56, the nation’s most vicious immigration reform law.

 There’ll be more on the events tomorrow. Keep checking back on our page for updates throughout the day, or follow us on twitter @ALimmigrant – we’ll be live-tweeting, using the hashtag #CrisisAL. Stay tuned!