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Thread: AL - Rally highlights "undocumented" youths' plight, draws small crowd at Birmingham'

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    AL - Rally highlights "undocumented" youths' plight, draws small crowd at Birmingham'

    Rally highlights "undocumented" youths' plight, draws small crowd at Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park

    Published: Saturday, April 14, 2012, 4:58 PM Updated: Saturday, April 14, 2012, 9:07 PM
    Victoria L. Coman -- The Birmingham News


    Jose Gonzalez, 19, of Clanton, right, joined other undocumented teens and young adults at Kelly Ingram Park.

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Some 100 people gathered today in Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park for the Coming Out of the Shadows Rally, hosted by the Immigration Youth Leaderhip Initiative.

    Victor Palafox, one of the event's organizers, said the rally was held to allow undocumented teens and young adults the chance to share their experiences in the aftermath of the state's immigration law, known as HB56. The law, which went into effect in September, was designed to make it difficult for illegal immigrants to live and work in Alabama.

    "Coming out of the shadows means that we're coming out as 'undocumented' in a public place," said 14-year-old Jocelyn Martinez, who also helped organize today's rally. "This is something very big for all of us. And, it's something we have been waiting for. We're not afraid."

    Event speakers, who were from cities including Birmingham, Dothan, Clanton and Eufaula, talked about being brought by their parents to the United States as little ones, attending school and being denied opportunities such as scholarships once their immigration status was revealed.

    "When I first heard of HB56, it was very hard because I never knew people were actually capable of doing such harsh things," Martinez said. "It was very sad. Many families have been torn apart including mine."

    The Birmingham resident said her parents and siblings left six months ago.

    "My mom was scared. She didn't know what to do," Martinez said. "We were ready to go."

    She remained in the country, living with an uncle, so she could complete her education.

    Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, has filed a bill to make revisions to HB56, which he also sponsored. One of the key changes in the bill introduced this year deals with a section giving law enforcement officers the ability to verify a person's citizenship status if they have a ''reasonable suspicion'' that the person is in the country illegally. Hammon's new bill specifies that an officer can perform those checks only when making an arrest or writing a traffic ticket. The existing law says it can be done during traffic stops and does not require that a ticket be written or arrest made.

    Other changes include limiting the types of transactions in which local governments can ask for proof of citizenship and doing away with a requirement that schools check citizenship status.

    The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee this week held a two-hour public hearing in Montgomery on proposed revisions to the law. During the hearing, Hammon said he thought Alabama's existing law already was the best in the nation, but that the proposed revisions would make the law clearer, easier to enforce and less cumbersome on legal citizens. A committee vote could come as soon as Tuesday.

    Organizers of today's rally said it was designed to offer the public faces and stories to the cause for the countless people who can not or will not speak out for fear of being arrested and deported.

    "My name is Joze Gonzalez, I'm 19 years old, I'm undocumented and I'm proud," the Clanton resident told the crowd at the rally. Onlookers repaid his introduction with crackles of applause.

    "When I was growing up, my parents put much emphasis on knowledge and education. They encouraged me to do my best in school and make something of myself," he said.

    Gonzalez made high grades in school and eventually graduated high school at the top of his class.

    "Oh, you should have seen my dad's face when all the college offers came in the mail. I mean, he was so happy, you know. He was so proud of me," Gonzalez said. "But, to no avail. When I disclosed that I was undocumented, I mean, all those college offers just vanished.

    "So here I am," he continued. "This new law has made it very hard for me to go to college. Not just for me, I'm sure, but other young students like me. But, I'm sure that if we stand together and fight this law, that no other dreams should go unfulfilled."

    Rally highlights "undocumented" youths' plight, draws small crowd at Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park | al.com
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
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    In brief, the Mexican Constitution states that:

    - Immigrants and foreign visitors are banned from public political discourse.

    MEXICO'S GLASS HOUSE- How the Mexican constitution treats foreigners
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    The population of the State of Alabama is 4,802,740, yet the attention of the media, The Birmingham News, which nothing but a liberal rag in my opinion, concentrates on 100 people getting together to "demonstrate" for the "rights" of illegal foreign nationals that here in violation of our laws.

    These illegals have used taxpayer funds for years as they received a free education K-12 and they partook of every free lunch,dinner,snack, breakfast and free medical program available. They have been given a good start and if they are from Mexico, they are entitled to a FREE college education there.

    Alabama

    Further information
    People QuickFacts Alabama USA
    Population, 2011 estimate 4,802,740 311,591,917
    Alabama QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
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