It should come as no surprise that, in the wake of Alabama’s anti-Latino immigrant law, sentiments towards Latinos in that state are becoming less than civil. If it wasn’t something you expected would happen in wake of Alabama’s law — that Latinos, regardless of legal status, are being harassed — then you haven’t been paying attention.
Spanish-speaking parents say their children are facing more bullying and taunts at school since Alabama’s tough crackdown on illegal immigration took effect last month. Many blame the name-calling on fallout from the law, which has been widely covered in the news, discussed in some classrooms and debated around dinner tables.
Justice Department officials are monitoring for bullying incidents linked to the law.
If you give people a reason or an opportunity to openly harass Latinos, they’re going to do it. They did it in Georgia, where cops went “Hispanic hunting” and Puerto Ricans were being denied driver’s licenses. Despite trying to frame these issues as ones of “legality,” what ends up happening is that the lowest common denominator is adopted, and anyone who “looks illegal” is targeted.
That could be you, it could be me, it could be whoever someone in Alabama with opportunity and cause decides.