By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Saturday, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) will hold a march in Birmingham to show their support for passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
ACIJ Steering Committee Chair Rev. Angie Wright said in a written statement, “We are encouraged by the introduction of this bill in the House and we thank the sponsors of this bill for their support of immigrant families in Alabama. We still remain concerned with some of the measures in this bill, but it is an important step forward. Republicans and Democrats can come together to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship in the House of Representatives. We urge Alabama’s Congressional delegation to sponsor the bill and pressure House leadership to bring it to a vote.”
Saturday, October 5 has been designated the National Day for Dignity and Respect and Saturday’s march is part of a planned over 160 rallies and marches across the country telling the Congress to pass the immigration reform bill which was introduced in the House by House Democrats. Similar legislation passed the U.S. Senate in June.
Rev. Wright said, “Since the Senate passed its bill in late June, over 100,000 families have been torn apart through deportations. Bringing these members of the community out of the shadows is good for Alabama’s economy, good for our businesses, and good for families. Immigrant, civil rights, and religious leaders from across Alabama will come together on Saturday to make it clear that the House of Representatives must act now.”
The ACIJ is participating in the Birmingham event. The statewide rally and march for immigration reform will take place at Arthur Shores Park, near the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center at 11:00 AM.
The ACIJ said on Facebook, “The National Day of Action for Dignity & Respect marks the beginning of the immigrant rights movement’s escalation fight for legalization that leads to citizenship for 11 million aspiring citizens and the immediate end to deportations.” The ACIJ is expecting more than 1000 people to come out for the event.
The bill which passed the Senate would increase border security, allow for increased legal immigration, and provide a pathway for citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already living in this country.
Opponents led by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama argue that the bill increases legal immigration too dramatically and since the current administration has often been lax on border enforcement and is not enforcing current immigration laws passed by the Congress there is not any guarantee that they would implement many of the security measures in the legislation if it did pass.
President Obama has made comprehensive made immigration reform and vast new restrictions on the rights of American gun owners the focus of his second term. Gun control appears to be dead in the U.S. Senate for this year and has little chance of passing the Republican controlled U.S. Senate.
Immigration reform appears to have stalled in the House while the Congress is addressing funding the government, raising the debt ceiling, whether or not to delay the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and passing a new farm bill.
More information on the event and ACIJ activities can be found at their website: