The day after the ruling, schools were besieged by parents, frightened and crying as they withdrew their children from classes. Hundreds of other children simply did not show up for school. The Obama administration is appealing the decision, but the state’s Republican Gov. Robert Bentley stood firm, saying: “I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges.” THIS ISSUE IS PERSONAL, FOR SO MANY MILLIONS I gulp down those words and try to understand just what the governor is defending, just who is he so afraid of. But I can’t. I picture immigrants working in fields, factories and front yards, and I don’t see invaders or interlopers. I don’t see criminals out to steal American jobs or live off public welfare. Instead, I see my own mother, stepping off a plane many decades ago, her two small daughters in tow, her heart pounding with anticipation. Still in her early 20’s, she had scarcely set foot outside her small hometown in Ecuador, let alone travelled outside its borders. Everything she spotted was new to her, even the pay phones at the airport. Every step she took was carrying her farther away from all that was familiar, all that was safe.