It’s been more than a week since Governor Robert Bentley signed revisions to the immigration bill into law. Sunday afternoon more than 500 immigration protesters marched from the State Capitol to the Governor’s mansion, to make a statement to Governor Bentley.
“He said he didn’t like it, he said things would change, but he caved in,” said Luis Robledo, an organizer for Alabama’s Coalition for Immigrant Justice. "The people of Alabama are better than HB 56 and the new revisions of the law."
The revision, HB 658 passed both houses at the start of Alabama’s legislative special session. Sen. Hank Sanders, (D) Selma, says he is marching at the rally because he believes his colleagues failed to bring Alabama’s immigrants justice.
“We will not stop fighting,” Sen. Sanders said. “We will fight in courts, we will fight in the street, we will fight wherever we need to fight in order to be able to get rid of these oppressive laws.”
Other supporters showed up to reinforce Sunday’s Christian holiday, Pentecost, in hopes that faith will change lawmakers’ minds. “It feels like we took one step forward and three steps back, but God’s spirit it stronger than man’s law,” said Pamela Long.
“Man’s law” is a law many immigrants say does not define who they are as people, but instead gives them a reason to define their future in Alabama and the United States.
“Alabama is united in defiance of a hurtful law that only seeks to discriminate a certain group of population of Alabama,” said Victor Spezzini, a community organizer for Alabama’s Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
Robledo says he and the other protesters will do whatever it takes until the immigration laws are repealed. “My dream for Alabama is a tolerant equal Alabama where kids aren’t afraid to go to school and people aren’t afraid to be pulled over by the police because of their immigration status,” Robledo said.