That sense of community, however, as others would attest to, did not last for long.
“Right after the tornado hit, we were told not to worry about the new law, that for the time being, there would be no efforts to try and pass it,” said Trinny, a serious-looking woman dressed in a floral top and simple jewelry. “As the weeks went on, however, we discovered that that was not the case; that the proceedings were in fact continuing forward.”
Trinny, a Mexican immigrant who has lived here for over 13 years and works as a housekeeper, said she could not believe how quickly the spotlight once again shone on them.
“Just days after the tornado, I read an article in the newspaper that claimed that the number one problem in the state of Alabama were the undocumented immigrants,” Trinny said. “I remember sitting there and thinking, ‘how can undocumented immigrants be the number one problem when the state just lived through the tornado outbreak? Shouldn’t the state’s reconstruction and recovery be of upmost importance?’”
That was not the case, however. A little over two months later, the state legislature passed HB 56, and although it was temporarily stopped from implementation pending constitutionality questions, the bill’s fine print still cast a shadow over the entire immigrant population.
“All this talk about the new immigration law is really causing some major problems for us, both emotional and job-related, economical problems,” Trinny said. “Our future is uncertain as of now. We are stuck in a limbo between whether we should stay here in the United States or return to our country. Constantly worrying about whether they are going to kick us out, our children, if we are going to lose our jobs.”