MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Two men arrested when they sat down in the lobby of the Alabama Statehouse and refused to leave in protest of the state's immigration law have been convicted of trespassing and ordered to pay $87 apiece in court costs.
Montgomery County District Judge Sharon Yates found 25-year-old Ernesto Zumayo and 21-year-old Cesar Marroquin guilty Monday. Their attorney, Mike Winter of Montgomery, said the two men have now returned to their homes. Zumayo is from Los Angeles and Marroquin lives outside Philadelphia. The court action was first reported by the Montgomery Advertiser.
Both Zumayo and Marroquin came to the United States with their families from Mexico as young children and have said they do not have the documentation to prove they are in the United States legally. Marroquin has said he grew up as an American and as a child wanted to be a U.S. Marine.
They were among a group from around the country who gathered at the Statehouse pm Nov. 15 to protest Alabama's immigration law. Marroquin and Zumayo were arrested inside the Statehouse. Eleven others were arrested when they sat down in a street outside the Statehouse. Federal immigration officials have not taken action against the protesters.
Those arrested outside the Statehouse included a juvenile who was released to her parents. The remaining 10, who have also claimed they are in the country illegally, are set to be tried in Montgomery Municipal Court at 2 p.m. on Feb. 27.
Winter said he believes the judge treated his clients fairly.
"I feel good, except HB56 is still on the books," Winter said referring to the Alabama immigration law, which both supporters and critics have called the strongest crackdown on illegal immigrants in the country.