Racial Profiling After HB 56: Stories from the Alabama Hotline

Racial Profiling After HB 56
Stories from the Alabama Hotline


Incidents reported by callers to the hotline reveal three dangerous trends: that the enactment of HB 56 has created a damaging environment of racial profiling by law enforcement officials; that the law’s provisions constitute state-sanctioned discrimination that, in turn, encourages private citizens to discriminate against and abuse people they suspect may be “foreign”; and that the provision requiring Alabama school officials to determine the immigration status of enrolled students (or that of their parents) has discouraged attendance and encouraged discrimination based on students’ appearance and perceived ethnicity.

Because the federal district court in Alabama declined to enjoin provisions in HB 56 that are similar to the “show-me-your-papers” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070, what began to happen in Alabama last fall provides a clear and deeply troubling preview of what we’re likely to see soon in Arizona, as well as in any other states that enact or enforce SB 1070 or HB 56 copycats.

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