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DREAM Activist Describes Fear After Alabama’s HB 56: ‘I’m Not The Only One’

Three weeks after Alabama began enforcing its ultra-strict anti-immigrant law, the country is beginning to see what happens when states create their own immigration policies.

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The worst part is to realize it’s only going to get worse.

What does the resistance look like these days? 

This legislation has ignited such a wide, passionate pool of resistance. [It] is very diverse. We have obviously undocumented immigrants, documented immigrants, citizens, politicians, businessmen, judges who are on our side because this law not only affects undocumented immigrants, it hurts the state as a whole. When I heard about his law I equated it to shooting yourself in the foot, and now that I see the effects, I equate it to shooting yourself in the head.

Before, farmers weren’t as vocal, but now they are seeing the effects, that it could affect their livelihood. The construction [industry], too. What we’re trying to do is unite. Unite Alabama regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of immigration status.

One of the things we’re missing is the human element. When you hear undocumented immigrants, you don’t see: friend of 15 years, or worker of seven, or family man of 20. You are really dehumanized when it comes to undocumented immigrants. I’m not the only one. There are thousands of people in the same situation as I am.

 

Julianne Hing is co-editor of the ColorLines magazine blog, RaceWire, and editorial assistant of ColorLines magazine.

 
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