For the past nine months Alabama’s immigration law has been scaled back, revisited, and revised. All that time the Southern Poverty Law Center has fought to squash the bill they see as detrimental to human rights.
In the wake of Governor Robert Bentley signing HB 658 – a revised version of the original HB 56 – the SPLC has relaunched their immigration law hotline.
“The phone line has always been operating, but we wanted people to remember they need to remain vigilant for what their rights are,” said Sam Brooks, a spokesman for the SPLC.
The hotline serves to assist people who feel they’ve been discriminated against because of the immigration law as well as people who are simply seeking information on the bills.
The relaunch serves to show lawmakers, they’re still fighting.
“While they made some modifications and there’s been a narrowing of the law, they also did some things that made the law much, much worse,” said Brooks. “Over all, to us, we don’t think their changes were substantial and that’s why our legal challenge is continuing.”
Some of those modifications include scaling back sections of the bill regarding traffic stops.
Governor Robert Bentley originally voiced concerns over sections of the bill that would require schools to check the status of new students, going as far as asking the children about their immigration status and that of their parents.He also had reservations about a section that would create a database listing suspected illegal immigrants who have appeared in court by name.
Bentley urged the legislature to act on those two provisions during a special session in May. Despite their resistance, he eventually chose to sign the bill into law even though they didn’t meet his requirements.
You can reach the SPLC immigration hotline at 1-800-982-1620.