This could be a big year for immigration reform as advocacy groups, lawmakers and the courts continue to grapple with the far-reaching issue.
Today, Isabel Rubio with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama spoke to a group at the Birmingham Library about the similarities between immigration rights to the civil rights movement.
"The struggle continues in terms if we don't have equality for one group of people, we don't have equality for anybody," Rubio said.
Recently the Alabama Attorney General's office asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the 11th Court of Appeals, which struck down major portions of Alabama's immigration law. The review will center on the section of HB 56 which dealt with harboring and transporting illegal immigrants. Rubio calls it a waste of time.
"We have more important things to deal with. What the 11th said, what is going on here is pre-empted by federal law," Rubio said.
But Gardendale Senator Scott Beason, who sponsored the tougher immigration law, welcomes the high court review.
"I think the state needs to do everything it can in order to protect its citizens and I'm glad the attorney general is doing what he can," Beason said.
Rubio is optimistic that President Barack Obama and Congress will be able to address immigration reform which will be fair to those who want to come and work in the United States.
"I think it's encouraging to have people on both sides of the aisle say we got to address this issue. It has been on the back burner for too long," Rubio said.
Beason is suspicious of efforts to reform the country's immigration law in Washington D.C.
"If it's just a handful of people in Alabama who can get a job are being blocked out by illegal aliens that is wrong. I think those people in Washington have lost touch," Beason said.
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