Washington – Activists are preparing vigils and acts of protest across the United States on Monday to demand the repeal of Alabama's anti-illegal-immigrant state law HB 56, the National Council of La Raza said Saturday.
In Washington, the NCLR is organizing a vigil in front of the White House with the expected participation of religious and civic leaders of the area, the organization said in a communique.
The delegation plans to call a meeting of area residents and activists to document the impact of the law and later to take part in a massive rally against the measure.
The law, which criminalizes the presence of the undocumented, went into effect on Sept. 28 and is considered one of the harshest against illegal immigration in the United States.
The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, or ACIJ, which on Monday will officially launch its campaign "One Family, One Alabama," says that HB 56 has devastated immigrant communities and has harmed schools and businesses throughout the state.
A federal tribunal has temporarily blocked parts of the law, after separate lawsuits were filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and by civic groups that say it violates civil rights.
According to the NCLR, one of the main organizations defending Hispanic immigrants in the United States, groups allied to the cause of immigration reform around the country are also thinking of holding vigils, though it gave no details.
Activists are particularly up in arms about an article in the law that allows Alabama police to demand proof of legal status from people detained for other infractions.
For the vigil in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, the NCLR has asked activists to wear white T-shirts and carry posters expressing solidarity with Alabama's immigrants.