BIRMINGHAM– They literally came from near and far to Birmingham’s primary civic space to pray and protest what’s been called the nation’s toughest Immigration law– HB 56.
The “Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act” requires public schools to determine students’ immigration status and makes it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.
I was among those who gathered today and I am glad I did.
It’s not enough to talk about the issues facing immigrant populations in our community and our state.
Sometimes we have to physically get together and make a statement.
While most of those who attended donned white shirts, a large group of those participating wore green shirts.
They was actually a church group from Knollwood, North Carolina, a community not far from Fayetteville. They told me they heard about the silent march and wanted to come and support the effort.
Churches, in fact, were the engine for much of what happened today.
In fact, the group from the Tuscaloosa area that I joined used the parking lot at Holy Spirit Catholic Church as a staging area.
But, this truly ecumenical gathering had representatives from a range of religions and faith
A petition was available for those who wanted to sign it
There were no political speeches tonight at Linn Park.
That’s for another day.
The focus today was just on prayer and silent protest.
Those members of the clergy who rose to pray also included scriptural references that were appropriate for understanding the faith-based community’s response to HB 56 here in Alabama.
As for the new law, tonight’s event comes just days before Alabama’s law enforcement leaders are slated to meet with representatives from the Justice Department to discuss the implementation of the law that goes into effect September 1,