Huntsville advocacy group seeking justice for immigrants

An advocacy group in Huntsville says it's important to keep immigrants in America, whether they're legal or not.

Posted: Feb 15, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2019 6:51 PM

An advocacy group in Huntsville says it's important to keep immigrants in America, whether they're legal or not.

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrants Justice fights for the rights of immigrants living in the state. The coalition meets to help those who are documented or undocumented in any way they can.

"It's hypocritical. This country was built on immigrants," said Yalitza LaFontaine, the North Alabama regional organizer.

Yalitza is from Puerto Rico and has family there. She spends her time advocating for people who come to America seeking a better way of life.

"This idea that there are these hoards of people trying to break in, and we need a wall, and a wall is the only thing, that's going to fix it, is false," said LaFontaine.

LaFontaine said the caravans of migrants working their way to the border in Mexico aren't full of criminals. She believes there's no national emergency and once they get here, they shouldn't live in the shadows.

"They pay into our society they pay into our community, they pay rent, they buy houses, they buy cars, they go out to eat, they buy groceries. All they're doing is paying in to a society that does not refund them their taxes, that does not give them something back," said LaFontaine.

LaFontaine agrees the immigration system is broken, but she believes the government needs to help undocumented immigrants more. She says right now, they're only given the bare minimum to keep their heads above water.

"To see America's fundamental principles start to erode that way and everything that I feel in my 46 years of life that we've worked towards, has kind of been shattered by this one person," said LaFontaine.

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