Past Event

“Is This Alabama?”

Hollywood Turns the Camera on Alabama

1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

On June 9, 2011, Alabama enacted H.B. 56—the most extreme state-level anti-immigrant bill passed to date. The act, designed to make every aspect of life unbearably difficult for undocumented immigrants living in Alabama, deploys fear as a weapon to marginalize and oppress an unwanted population just as segregationist policies did 50 years ago. It has been nine months since the law’s passage and its path of destruction is still palpable from children too afraid to come to school to potential economic losses of up to $10.8 billion. Adding to the cacophony of voices opposed to H.B. 56 that includes leaders from the civil rights, faith, education and business communities is a new and notable voice—from Hollywood.

Please join the Center for American Progress as we, along with America’s Voice Education Fund and Define American, release a series of videos by Chris Weitz, acclaimed director of the film "A Better Life" and a host of other notable films. Weitz turns the camera on and asks, “Is This Alabama?”

We will also be releasing the report “Alabama’s Immigration Disaster: The Harshest Law in the Land Harms the State’s Economy and Society,” by journalist Tom Baxter, which goes even more in depth into how H.B. 56 is destroying the fabric of Alabama’s society and economy.

Joining Chris to discuss the videos and the report will be Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who has spent a considerable amount of time in Alabama, amplifying the stories of those who have lost so much because of H.B. 56, and Tom Baxter, author of "Alabama’s Immigration Disaster: The Harshest Law in the Land Harms the State’s Economy and Society."

Featured panelists:
Chris Weitz, Director, A Better Life
Jose Antonio Vargas, Writer, Pulitzer Prize winner, and founder of Define American
Tom Baxter, Columnist, SaportaReport

Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress