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Hundreds Of Immigration Law Foes Rally In Alabama

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Protest against Alabama's House Bill 56 in front of the Governor's Mansion on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Montgomery, Ala.. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Lloyd Gallman)
Protest against Alabama's House Bill 56 in front of the Governor's Mansion on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Montgomery, Ala.. (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Lloyd Gallman)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Hundreds of advocates for immigrants who gathered outside Alabama's state Capitol are calling for the repeal of a controversial law that they say harkens back to the state's segregationist past.

Protesters on Saturday waved signs saying "One Family One Alabama" on the statehouse grounds before marching to the governor's mansion.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the immigration law and GOP Gov. Robert Bentley signed it this year with the goal of scaring off illegal immigrants. Supporters said it would open up jobs for legal residents in a state suffering from nearly 10 percent unemployment at the time.

Parts of the law took effect in late September amid court challenges, but other parts were blocked by federal courts after lawsuits by the Obama administration, immigrant rights groups, religious organizations and others.

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