Hyundai dealerships throughout Alabama geared up for large protests recently, as the company sent each dealership a warning letter stating that protests were likely to occur outside of their lots due to Alabama’s 2011 immigration laws.
The proposed protests are only one of many that immigration advocates throughout the state have created. Protesters have picked the dealership because they believe its silence on the state’s laws acts as an endorsement for them, despite the negative impacts the laws have on the company’s many Hispanic workers in Alabama, according to The Leadership Conference.
For some, this letter from Hyundai’s vice president of sales, Dave Zuchowski, is a sign that protesters are making a difference and may cause the auto company to take a stand, according to The Associated Press.
Many immigration advocates also are planning protests at other foreign automaker plants throughout Alabama.
State Senator Scott Beason, however, does not believe the protests will have much of an effect on Hyundai, as it is a worldwide dealership.
“These are international companies,” he said, according to the AP. “They deal with much more stringent laws in other countries.”
However, the sheer number of protests and evidence over how unsuccessful and cruel Alabama laws are may have caused some government officials to rethink the legislation.
One large piece of evidence is a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center titled, “Alabama’s Shame: HB 56 and the War on Immigrants.” From tales of a young girl who was refused medical treatment only to undergo emergency surgery days later, to Hispanic residents with U.S. citizenship enduring racial taunts on a near-daily basis, the laws affects have not been as planned.