The event begins at noon in the parking lot of the Gadsden Department of Human Resources, where they’ll have speeches and an informational session about the immigration law before the march begins at 1:45 p.m., said Occupy Birmingham organizerAllyn Hudson. Then they will march and picket outside the detention center until 3 p.m. They’ll also write Christmas and other holiday cards to the immigration detainees, Hudson said. Occupy Birmingham will havetwo carpools from the Birmingham area to Gadsden before the protest. The first will be from Birmingham, the second from Homewood.
“In addition Alabama’s state law, H.B.56, encourages racial profiling, restricts employment, use of public utilities, and puts unnecessary strain on law enforcement resources,” according to Occupy Birmingham’sannouncement of the event on its website.
“The economic cost to Alabama is only beginning to be estimated; in taxes alone undocumented immigrants bring the state 130 million dollars a year. Even more important is the effect on our communities of the underlying divisive and nativist rhetoric of HB56 and ICE.”
The Etowah County Commission approved on Nov. 1 for the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to lease the third floor of the Etowah County Courthouse, an addition to the space it already leases from the county in the detention center, according to The Gadsden Times. The newspaper reported ICE will pay about $111,000 a year to lease the jail and courthouse space.