From March 17th through March 19th, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) officers, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, carried out the arrests of an estimated 40 immigrants in the cities of Huntsville, Decatur, Athens, and Hartselle, AL. The “Alabama 40” is being detained in Dekalb County as well as Morgan and Madison County Jails, awaiting transport to regional ICE detention facilities in Louisiana and Ohio.
The terrified families of the detainees do not wish to make public statements for fear of retaliation, and most are not willing to come forward for help. Among the arrested were people with no criminal record who were present for a sweep for the specifically targeted. One family reported that their home was broken into forcibly to make the illegal arrest, leaving behind a mother and her two children.
We stand with the “Alabama 40” against an unjust system that criminalizes survivors and immigrants, and separates families.