In protest of Alabama’s new immigration law, many Latinos in the state reportedly skipped work yesterday or closed their businesses, Fox News Latino reports. According to the website, the goal of their work stoppage was to show the contribution Alabama’s Latino immigrants make to the southern state’s economy.
The state’s law allows police officials to detain people indefinitely if they’re suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. It also requires schools to check the immigration status of new students upon enrollment. In Albertville, a northern town in Alabama, Dominican-born Jose Contreras closed his restaurant and store. “We closed because we need to open the eyes of the people who are operating this state,” he said. “It’s an example of if the law pushes too much, what will happen.”
Many Latinos afraid of the new immigration law have reportedly hidden in their homes or fled Alabama since a federal judge upheld much of the law several weeks ago, according to Fox News Latino. Ed Burke, the principal of an elementary school in Alabama, said that about 160 students of the school’s student body (about 600) were absent. That’s 160 students absent, in comparison to a normal 20-30, according to Burke.
According to the website, President Barack Obama’s administration has asked the federal appeals court this week to at least temporarily block enforcement. It has reportedly argued in court documents that the statutes overstep the state’s authority.