Sunday, August 26, 2012
Alabama's immigration landmark H.B. 56 has caused quite a stir. The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department is establishing its first civil rights unit in Alabama, a move that comes after the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration raised broader concerns about compliance with federal laws. Officials said it would examine issues related to immigrants and also matters involving fair housing laws, police brutality claims, compliance with federal disability laws and minority protection.
Despite Alabama's checkered civil rights history, replete with police attacks on peaceful civil rights protesters, KKK terrorism of African Americans, and Governor George Wallace's proclamation of "segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever," the Justice Department never has had an office in Alabama. Civil rights head Thomas Perez has done a good job protecting the civil rights of Latinos and immigrants in these times of ferment.