Alabama is known for having some of the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant laws. In the tiny town of Clanton, officers were ordered to arrest anyone with a valid visa, leading to severe cases like the arrest of a breastfeeding mother. But police chief Brian Stilwell is trying to change his force’s negative image by finally reaching out to Clanton’s growing immigrant community. Ashley Cleek went down to the Alabama town to learn more.
Ashley Cleek is a radio reporter and producer living in Birmingham, Alabama. Before moving down South, Ashley reported stories in Turkey, Ukraine, India, and Russia for American, German and British radio. Her stories have appeared on radio shows like The World and Marketplace and on websites like PBS’s Tehran Bureau, Global Post, and the Atlantic.