As voters go to the polls today in Alabama, a new civil rights movement is brewing the southern state that passed one of the strictest immigration laws in the nation last year.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson has openly criticized the immigration law as "disgraceful and unnecessary," according to CBS8 News in Montgomery.
Rev. Jackson was in Alabama last week for the annual walk reenacting the historic 1965 voting and civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
Over 1,000 people marched for five days and they also protested against the state's restrictive immigration and voter ID laws.
A civil rights movement uniting African Americans, Latinos, labor leaders and immigrant rights activists has been growing in Alabama.
Young immigrant DREAM Act activists and their parents protested and were arrested in Alabama last fall.
Rev. Jackson also has voiced his support for the DREAM Act.
"Democracy is a path to citizenship, not deportation,” Rev. Jackson said at a rally Friday in Montgomery. “Democracy is the path of the DREAM Act, not the nightmare act of race-profiling, violence and family separation.”
It's significant that African Americans join in the fight for immigration reform. The civil rights battles of the past were not won alone and support from diverse communities was vital in that struggle.
The immigration law has hurt not helped Alabama's economy. Produce was left to rot in the fields because many immigrant workers left the state. And the state has left a hostile impression with foreign businesses as executives of German and Japanese companies were detained while driving in that state.
The courts are ruling against states' restrictive immigration laws. Little by little, Alabama's law has been dismantled.
Last Thursday, an appeals court blocked additional portions of the Alabama law.
It expanded an initial injunction to include provisions that barred illegal immigrants from obtaining a driver's license and barred courts from enforcing contracts that involved illegal immigrants.
A part of the law that required schools to check the immigration status of students was previously blocked.
These types of laws aren't helping Alabama's economy or reputation.
Hopefully, the voters in Alabama will see that.