By Ebony Howard, Managing Attorney for Alabama Children at Risk
Every single day, when students walk into school in Birmingham, Ala., they face the threat of being sprayed with pepper spray. In this school system, pepper spray is routinely used as punishment by police officers stationed in schools.
When George Wallace stood in the "schoolhouse door” to stop African-American students from enrolling in the University of Alabama, it was all for show. With Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, we can only hope that his position is similar political posturing.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has won some encouraging victories in the months since we launched our effort to defeat Alabama’s harsh anti-immigrant law. We’ve also had some disappointments. But this legal battle is far from over. In fact, it’s just getting started.
The Southern Poverty Law Center asked members of Congress today to oppose legislation that would greatly expand one of the nation’s guestworker programs and shred protections for both guestworkers and U.S. workers.
By urging the prosecutor in Jackson, Miss., to not seek the death penalty for those responsible for the vicious killing of James Anderson, his family members have taken a noble position and made a clear statement that, while they seek justice, they are not out for revenge.
We filed a motion for summary judgment because the sheriff’s office simply does not have the right to enforce immigration law. But since 2007, deputies have been interrogating detainees about their immigration status and recommending their deportation to federal agents.
The security camera footage broadcast by CNN shows a grisly scene: a black man in Jackson, Miss., being fatally run over by a pickup truck after he was viciously beaten in a motel parking lot early on a Sunday morning in late June.
We all want our schools to be safe and orderly. Our teachers should be able to focus on teaching and our children should be able to focus on learning. Sadly, though, the effort to instill greater discipline in our schools has backfired.
Alabama’s anti-immigrant law is such an overreach of the state’s power that it came as no surprise that the Obama administration was compelled to file a lawsuit this week accusing Alabama of undermining federal immigration priorities.