Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Director Chris Weitz and Jose Antonio Vargas to Speak at CAP on Alabama’s H.B. 56
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Director Chris Weitz and Jose Antonio Vargas to Speak at CAP on Alabama’s H.B. 56

Hollywood Turns the Camera on the State's Anti-Immigration Law

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, February 15, acclaimed director Chris Weitz ("A Better Life," "The Golden Compass," "About a Boy") will unveil a new film series ("Is This Alabama?") that turns the lens on Alabama’s harsh anti-immigration law, H.B. 56, and the Center for American Progress will release 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 this law is destroying the fabric of Alabama’s society and economy. Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who has spent a considerable amount of time in Alabama amplifying the stories of immigrants in the state, will lead the discussion on the film, the report, and the effects of the law.

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, including leaders from the civil rights, faith, education, and business communities, is a new and notable voice: Hollywood.

Please join the Center for American Progress along with America’s Voice Education Fund and Define American for a closer look at the consequences of this extreme law.


Chris Weitz, Director, "A Better Life"

Jose Antonio Vargas, Writer, Pulitzer Prize winner, and founder of Define American

Tom Baxter
, Columnist, SaportaReport

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


February 15, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET


Center for American Progress
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For more information about this event, or to speak with our presenters upon its conclusion, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or [email protected].