Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA or ¡HICA!) is a non-profit organization helping Hispanic residents integrate into Alabama's social, civic and economic spheres. The organization, founded in 1999, has offices at 117 South Crest Drive off of West Valley Avenue. Its founder and executive director is Isabel Rubio.
One of the group's first initiatives was to publish a Spanish-language resource guide, Bienvenidos a Birmingham, which debuted in 2002. It became an affiliate of national Latino civil rights organization "La Raza" in 2003, and held its first annual Christmas tamale sale fund-raiser that December.
In association with the United Way of Central Alabama and the YWCA, HICA helped administer a 2005 Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs program to provide social services to victims of domestic violence. That led to HICA becoming a full agency partner with United Way in 2006.
In 2009 the group hired Charlotte Alvarez as its first full-time immigration attorney. The organization was crucially involved in efforts to lobby against the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which became law in 2011. HICA carried out community education and engagement efforts and later filed lawsuits which limited enforcement of many of the law's provisions following a 2013 settlement.