We only have 4 days to STOP HB786
Contact legislators here: http://bit.ly/786ActH
Having passed the House Judiciary and Finance committees, the "RECLAIM NC" Act is on the House calendar for Monday, July 15 at 7pm. The bill is an Arizona-style comprehensive immigration enforcement measure that, among other things, would require undocumented immigrants to register for driving privileges and increase penalties for those who don’t qualify for them. If enacted, the bill would affect all North Carolinians, regardless of immigration status.
House Bill 786 would require undocumented immigrants to get a driving permit or state ID card, but won't make them available to all, as the legislation establishes criteria to qualify for a permit that will be difficult for many immigrants to meet. (See our information graphics in English and Spanish about this). Besides passing a driving test and having insurance, one must also admit to being in the country without permission, submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check, and prove residency in North Carolina as of April 1, 2013 and in the state for at least one year. These arbitrary residency requirements mean that migrant farmworkers and other immigrants who live here to work in tourism, seafood processing, or other seasonal industries would not qualify for the permit or ID if they can’t prove they have lived in North Carolina for a year.
The public safety benefits of providing driving privileges to all who qualify will be greatly diminished without willing participation of qualified immigrants and if otherwise qualified people don’t meet the proof of residency tests. The bill also proposes verifying the immigration status of anyone stopped on any offense for whom law enforcement has a "reasonable suspicion" that they are undocumented -- which means all North Carolinians will be required to carry proof of their status, and immigrants will be even less likely to report crimes to the police.
HB 786 ramps up criminal penalties — and not only for undocumented immigrants. All drivers, citizens and immigrants alike, will have their cars confiscated if they are caught driving without a license or insurance.
This is just scratching the surface of HB 786's stipulations. Though lawmakers behind the bill, including Rep. Harry Warren, claim this is a balanced bill about targeting serious criminals, it is filled with punitive provisions aimed at immigrants and could end ultimately end up harming the state as a whole.
Act now to oppose HB 786 - it's an easy way to email your legislators.
FACTSHEET: The RECLAIM NC Act will not deliver on public safety goals & is likely to be costly for state and economy
By Jessica Rocha, Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, April 2013
HB 786, or the RECLAIM NC Act, is a comprehensive immigration enforcement measure for North Carolina. Among other things, the proposal would require undocumented immigrants to register for driving privileges and increase penalties for those who don’t qualify for them. If enacted, the bill would affect all North Carolinians, regardless of immigration status.
Download the factsheet (PDF) here.
INFOGRAPHIC: Could you get a driving permit under HB 786? (En Español Abajo)