Organization to host student-led march toward understanding Dec. 1

Amanda Hernandez, president of the Hispanic Culture Organization, believes most students and community members are misled by lawmakers regarding the new Alabama immigration bill, which inspired her student group to debunk the misconceptions that are out there.

The organization will host a student-led march toward understanding Dec. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to educate and inform others about how the bill affects the Shoals community and future of residents in Alabama.

“Students are the people we’re aiming to reach,” Hernandez said. “They need to look at the other side of the issue, and educate themselves from all directions. It’s one thing to get information from the TV but a lot of times that information is vague and broad. Students that are planning on living in this area and starting a family here need to educate themselves and participate regardless of their stance.”

The march will begin at Wilson Park in downtown Florence, proceed to Court Street and end at the Memorial Amphitheater on UNA’s campus. Hank Sherrod, a civil rights attorney with the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak and host a Q&A session about the immigration bill at the amphitheater.

Speakers from the Alabama Coalition of Immigrant Justice, Alabama Dreamers for the Future, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama and Dr. Scott Infanger, assistant professor of Spanish, will also educate participants about the new bill.

“If students have never really taken time out to participate in other events, this is the one event that will really affect their life,” Hernandez said. “This is the one thing students really need to educate themselves on and participate in.”

Hernandez said the student-led march on Alabama’s new immigration bill is the first of its kind in the Shoals area since the law was introduced this past summer. She said students with a variety of opinions are encouraged to take part in the event to demonstrate both sides of the illegal immigration issue.