In the wake of the enforcement of Alabama’s HB56, known as “the toughest immigration law in the nation,” the stories of the individuals at the heart of the controversy—the immigrants themselves—have been forgotten, amalgamated into a collective whole, painted as the enemy. As concern continues to grow over the law and its effects on the community, the interpretation of the law among everyday citizens relies heavily on the media’s handling of news coverage and information distribution.
As the image of immigrants continues to change, generalizations and stereotypes that exist among the general public are further exploited by the way the media choose to cover and depict immigrants.
The exploitation, narrow depiction and misrepresentation of immigrants by the media create misunderstanding, encourage stereotyping, and spread fear among the public. This, in turn, leads to prejudice against immigrants, fear of them, and eventually, to the creation of laws such as Alabama’s HB56, which has been deemed by some, as unconstitutional. The problem, which begins at the community level, grows exponentially across the nation.
The purpose of this website is to help refocus the conversation on the everyday lives of immigrants, focusing on their daily reality, on the struggles of individuals who have lived in the country for decades, a country they have grown to love as their own. It is our responsibility to try and understand them: They are Us.