Which America do we live in?

The author, John Tejeda, is an intern with the Center for Community Change.

Is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave, or do we now live in a country that tears families apart and drives children from public schools?

These are the questions – though on a more local scale – explored in the short film series “Is This Alabama” by Hollywood director Chris Weitz. Over the course of four videos, men and women in Alabama talk about how HB 56, the state’s controversial immigration law, has impacted them.

I’m not from Alabama, I don’t have family in Alabama, and no one I know personally has been affected by this law. But I was raised to believe that this is a country of freedom and opportunity. For me, Alabama’s immigration law goes against everything I was raised to believe about this great nation. Not only does it threaten the state’s economic outlook – $10.8 billion and up to 140,000 jobs – but it also signals a regression to a time when fear and hate divided the state.

Children should not be afraid of going to school, parents should not be afraid of letting their children play outside, and foreigners shouldn’t be afraid to walk the streets in Alabama, or any other state.

Check out the videos mentioned at http://isthisalabama.org/

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