US Justice Department Opens Hotline & Email to Field Alabama Civil Rights Concerns
The U.S. Justice Department created a bilingual hotline and e-mail for the public to report civil rights concerns regarding Alabama’s new toughest-in-the-nation immigration law, according to a Bloomberg report.
The phone line and an accompanying e-mail address were established “for the public to report potential civil rights concerns related to the impact” of the laws, Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said today in an e-mailed statement.
The U.S. is appealing a Sept. 28 ruling by U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Alabama, that permits the state to enforce much of the legislation signed in June by Governor Robert Bentley.
The federal government sued to bar parts of the law that allow police to question the immigration status of people detained for other reasons, that criminalize the failure of unregistered aliens to carry or produce necessary documents, and that make it a felony for those unlawfully in the country to do business with the state or any of its political subdivisions, stated the Bloomberg article.
There are an estimated 185,000 Hispanics in Alabama. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 70 percent of the state’s Hispanic residents are Mexican.
The hotline recording is available in both English and Spanish and callers are asked to leave a detailed message.
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