Alabama's Illegal Immigration Law Gets Attention From Hollywood

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By Tamika Bickham

Alabama's illegal immigration law caused a national uproar when it was signed into law last year. Now Hollywood is turning the cameras on the state and the results are not flattering.

Is this Alabama?

That's the question raised in four shocking mini-documentaries that are posted on the web and directed by Chris Weitz. He's a Hollywood director who's focus has now turned to Alabama and illegal immigration.

"The state of Alabama is telling me who my friends can be," said a farmer in one of the videos.

"That farmer is an Alabamian. He lives and works with folks who aren't from here and he understands that this law unfairly disadvantages them," said State Representative Joe Hubbard.

Representative Hubbard adds that parts of the videos are accurately showing what is going on in the state.

We also asked Representative Micky Hammon, a sponsor of the illegal immigration bill, to look at one of these mini-movies. His reaction?

"We don't need an activist, director from California to come in here and tell us whether this law is good or not. The people in Alabama can see it for themselves," said Rep. Hammon.

He says these activists are the ones who have scared illegal immigrants more than the law itself.

"They are trying to punish the state of Alabama, trying to tarnish our reputation and our name, simply because they don't like this law," said Rep. Hammon.

CBS 8 Political Analyst Steve Flowers says the backlash from outsiders runs deeper than that.

The documentary compares the state's deeply rooted racist history to Alabama today.

"Alabama has a racist past. We have an image problem from that point of view, and anytime we do something like this that includes race, it is an image problem," said Flowers.

It's sure to continue to stir up debate both outside and inside state lines.

"The people of the state of Alabama like this legislation, like this law. They wanted it," said Rep. Hammon.

"Don't tell me that this law is doing what it was intended to do. Don't tell me that people in the state of Alabama agree with what this law is doing," said Rep. Hubbard.

Lawmakers will be taking a look at what changes need to be made to the immigration law in the coming weeks.

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