A substantial numbers of Hispanics in Alabama are apparently staging a strike, closing businesses, including restaurants, to protest the state’s tough new law that seeks to stem the tide of illegal immigration. The Associated Press has reported that everything from poultry plants to schools are missing what used to be a familiar presence: Hispanic workers.
They’re miffed about HB 56, which federal Judge Sharon Blackburn (photo) of Alabama’s northern district largely upheld two weeks ago, leaving the state to enforce what may be the nation’s toughest measure to crack down on border jumpers.
According to the AP, “[a]t least a half-dozen poultry plants shut down or scaled back operations Wednesday and many other businesses closed,” noting that the “work stoppage was aimed at demonstrating the economic contribution of Alabama's Hispanic immigrants.”
It was unclear exactly how widespread the protests were, but a poultry company spokesman said officials were reporting unusually high absences at plants in northeast Alabama, where much of the state's chicken industry is based.
In the northeast Alabama town of Albertville, numerous Hispanic-owned businesses along Main Street had the lights off and signs that said they wouldn't be open. Mexican restaurants, a bank that caters to Hispanics, small grocery stores, and supermarkets were all shuttered.
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