HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Dozens in Huntsville joined thousands across the country Friday night protesting for immigrant rights at the southern border.
Roughly 50 people gathered at Huntsville’s City Hall to hold a candlelight vigil in solidarity with immigrants being held in detention centers.
The event was part of the national “Lights for Liberty” movement, consisting of roughly 700 vigils across the country.
The nationwide protests also come ahead of this weekend’s planned crackdown on thousands of undocumented immigrants in 10 major cities who have been court ordered out of the United States.
Organizer Jacob Morrison said the promotion of immigrant rights can help all peoples.
“Whenever undocumented workers, whenever migrant workers are able to be exploited, then that brings everybody’s wages down," he said.
“If we give them full rights, if we give them the rights to be here, then they won’t be able to be as exploited as they are now, and we will be able to work with them to fight for all of our rights.”
The event featured speeches, music and the candle lighting. The event went without any altercations with the exception of one heckler.
WAFF 48 News reached out to North Alabama GOP leadership to get all sides of the story.
Rep. Mo Brooks’ office (AL-5) did not return a request for comment.
Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-4) did an interview with Gray TV stating:
“Really it boils down to just being a broken immigration system. When you have mixed messages that you’re sending across the border to Central American countries that people should try and come to the United States illegally, then this is the problem you have."
The Madison County GOP sent the following statement:
"The Republican Party believes in legal immigration and effective border security. We support President Trump’s efforts to enhance our border security by continuing to build the wall and enhancing our border patrol work force is essential to the safety and security of Alabama citizens and all of all Americans.
Our county party does not have stance regarding any protests. Our mission to to focus on the re-election of President Trump, replacing Senator Doug Jones, and electing our county and district candidates."
Earlier this month, Congress passed a bill that will send $4.6 billionto the border.
It will provide funding to care for unaccompanied children, border security and immigration processing.