BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — About 40 people gathered in front of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute tonight, part of a 10-city statewide show of unity against the types of tough immigration laws passed in Alabama and Arizona.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule sometime this week on Arizona’s illegal immigration law, a ruling that may significantly affect Alabama’s own tough law.
“While this is a small step, we are going to keep fighting to stop the criminalization of our people, the separation of our families and the scapegoating of our communities,” 20-year-old Victor Palafox, of Pelham, an illegal immigrant who said he’s lived in the United States for 13 years.
Standing in a circle at the museum across from the famed Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Palafox and the others lit candles, said prayers in English and Spanish and sang songs.
Jocelyn Martinez, 14, of Birmingham, was one of those at the vigil.
“My family left a year ago to Mexico and I ended up staying here,” after the passage of Alabama’s law, she said.