Alabama Law is a Disgrace
Alabama’s new immigration law is driving people out of the state and it is scaring the residents who remain, especially if those residents do not have white skin. Please take a moment to read about how the Alabama school board is now condemning the law. It looks like Alabama has taken one GIGANTIC step backwards.
We need immigration reform so that nonsense like this doesn’t happen.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After hearing tearful comments from students, teachers and others aboutAlabama’s new immigration law, the Birmingham Board of Education said it will pass a resolution in the next few days condemning the law.
At this evening’s meeting, the board heard from 10 members of the audience, all of whom called the new law hateful and asked the board to pass a resolution condemning it.
The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice drafted a resolution condemning House Bill 56 and asked the board to pass it, but Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said the district is drafting its own resolution.
The board voted unanimously to show its intent to pass the resolution.
“If this isn’t racism, if this isn’t Jim Crow, this is a disgrace before God,” board member Emanuel Ford said of the law. “I can’t believe that in 2011, we would do something so blatant.”
Board member W.J. Maye called the law un-Christian.
“How can you say you’re a Christian? These same people who passed this law are the same people who go to church on Sunday,” he said.
Board members made their comments after several members of the audience told personal stories about how the law had affected them, and asked the board to condemn it.
Brenda Hernandez, who graduated from Carver High School last year, could barely get through her comments because she was crying so hard.
Despite being the school’s salutatorian, Hernandez said she can’t go to college because her parents — here illegally — can’t afford to send her to an out-of-state school and are too afraid to send her to college in Alabama because of the law. Parts of the law have been shot down by the courts, including a requirement that schools check the immigration status of newly enrolled students, but fear still has families keeping their children out of school, officials say.
“Due to the law, I have struggles fulfilling my dreams,” a tearful Hernandez told the board. “I’m thankful to Birmingham city schools for allowing me to study here. Children have so many dreams, like I did, and due to this law, it’s hard to meet them.”
Another student, Enner Perez, a senior at Carver High School, said in his country of Honduras, he wouldn’t have the educational opportunities he has had here.
“I was born in Honduras and I moved to Birmingham in 2008. I started ninth grade that same year at Carver. I didn’t know any English when I first came,” he said in English. “I decided to come to study in the United States because it is a country of great opportunities .¤.¤. I hope that other students who come from other countries will have the same opportunities I had, but this will not be possible if the law is not repealed. This law would keep students like me from getting an education.”
Rosalva Bermudez, an English as a Second Language program specialist for Birmingham city schools, said the first thing she translated when she joined the district in 1999 was Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“Now here in 2011, Martin Luther King’s speech gains new meaning to me,” she said.
Board member Tyrone Belcher, who came to the board meeting dressed in his military uniform, called the immigration law a “disgrace.”
“This is horrible. We blacks have gone through this,” he said. “We built this country on freedom. And (state Sen. Scott) Beason can sit around with that grin, but he ain’t fooling me.”