Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is visiting Alabama for a series of events on Saturday, which will end with a rally in Fair Park Arena at 4 PM. Rep. Gutierrez has long championed the issue of immigration reform, and was even arrested in 2010 and 2011 while protesting deportations under the Obama administration.
The Facebook page for the event notes that the event is being held under the “Alabama United: One Family, One Alabama” banner, hosted by the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and La Jefa Radio Station. The rally “aims to show the unity of the people Alabama in the face of extreme injustice and man-made disaster.”
According to the press release from Guiterrez’s office today:
“Alabama’s ‘papers please’ law has created a huge civil rights crisis for Latinos and all Americans across the nation,” Congressman Gutierrez said. “When people are scared to send U.S. citizen kids to school because a state has asserted its alleged right to sow discrimination and division, there is something very wrong in America. When local governments deny access to water unless you can prove your status, when judges say you can only press charges against an abusive husband if you are willing to be deported, when a law turns neighbor against neighbor, we have to shine a spotlight on it and say: this is not America.”
The Congressman is calling on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to suspend the deportation of immigrants with no criminal background who are picked up by Alabama authorities at least until Attorney General Eric Holder’s challenges to the constitutionality of the law have been adjudicated. Congressman Gutierrez led the national effort that resulted in revised federal deportation guidelines announced in August that target serious criminals and national security risks, but direct federal authorities not to pursue prosecution against immigrants with deep roots in their communities and no criminal activity, including military families, DREAM Act students, and the immediate families of U.S. citizens.
The rally tomorrow is in part to show immigrants in Alabama that they are not alone, but also intends to show legislators in the state that Alabamians will not stand for HB 56 cruelty.
If you’re in Birmingham or thereabouts, don’t miss the rally tomorrow (Saturday, October 22nd, 2011) at 4:00 p.m. at Fair Park Arena in Birmingham, AL, and stand up for the dignity of all people and against HB 56.
Also, feel free to tweet about HB 56 using #CrisisAL. @AmericasVoice will be on standby to retweet.
Here’s a map for the event: