Hispanics skip work to protest Alabama immigration law

JAY REEVES, Associated Press

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. - Along Main Street in this small Alabama town, the Mexican restaurant was closed, lights were out at a Hispanic-owned grocery store and even a bank catering to Spanish speakers was dark. Nearby, the usual hum of a chicken processing plant was silent.

Businesses dependent on immigrant labor were shuttered Wednesday as workers took the day off to protest the state's strict new immigration law.

The work stoppage appeared largest in northeast Alabama, the hub of the state's $2.7 billion poultry industry, but metropolitan areas were also affected. At least a half-dozen chicken processing plants closed or scaled back operations because employees, many of whom are Hispanic, didn't show up for work or told managers in advance they wanted to join the sick-out to show disapproval of the law upheld by a federal judge two weeks ago.

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