A group of college students are coming together to raise a united voice in opposition to Alabama's immigration law. Organizers are calling "A Week of Direct Action Against HB 56" that will run from Jan. 30 through Feb. 3.
It will include students from UAB, Birmingham Southern College, Samford University, the University of Montevallo and Jefferson State Community College.
"The fact we're a multi-campus group shows we're starting to unify and ready to show how against this bill we are," said A.T. Helix, a UAB student and one of co-organizers of the event.
Helix said students have held marches before, but felt like it was time to take those demonstrations to a new level. The events will include a forum on the social and economic impacts of the law, a unity event where students at the different campuses will wear armbands and T-shirts to show unity.
The week will conclude with a mock funeral procession in honor of immigrants students say have died in detention centers while waiting on verification of their status.
"We're not going to sit by and watch these people who claim to represent our state constantly embarrass us with their regressive rhetoric and stupidity and utter hatred," said UAB student William Anderson.
Others, like Samford student Jenae Steele, say this is their generation's Civil Rights Movement.
"The government is doing it again, attempting to prohibit and hinder people and it's our turn to take a stance," Steele said. "Our parents and grandparents did it. Now it's our turn."
Birmingham Southern student Hillary Beard said she is offended by what she calls legislators' ability to lie.
"To see the struggles of the farming community and construction and businesses, this is the first time in my life that I feel that my government is intruding upon my life," Beard said.
The first event will be Monday night, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at UAB's Heritage Hall.
Senator Scott Beason, one of the authors of HB56 says the college students have every right to express their opinions. But he also says once they get out into the job market and realize there are more jobs and the economy is better because of it, they'll actually come to appreciate the bill.
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