According to a report released today by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Latinos in Alabama have experienced harassment, hardship and discrimination, regardless of their immigration status, as a result of the state’s anti-immigrant law, HB 56 .
The report – Alabama’s Shame: HB 56 and the War on Immigrants – features stories told by Latinos from across Alabama. They describe being cheated out of wages, being denied medical treatment and facing a growing hostility since the passage of HB 56. The report calls for the law’s repeal, citing evidence that it attacks the basic human dignity of all Latinos.
The report includes the following stories:
- A health clinic refused to treat a young girl due to her immigration status. Days later, she had to undergo emergency surgery.
- A family with young children lived in a home without running water for 40 days because their “papers” were not in order.
- After asking to be paid for her work, a day laborer had a gun pointed at her by a boss who declared he didn’t have to pay her because she didn’t have “papers.”
- Latinos who are U.S. citizens have reported enduring taunts of “Go back to Mexico” and being treated with suspicion. One citizen described having to provide “American” identification to complete a routine purchase at a store – simply because he is Latino.
Many of the stories were reported to the SPLC through a hotline established for residents to report how the law affected them. By late February, more than 5,200 calls had been received since the hotline was established in September.