Immigration committee right to back off from harsh recommendations
STATEMENT FROM THE WE ARE NC COALITION
RALEIGH (Dec. 6, 2012) -- America needs a just, fair and humane immigration policy that keeps families together. We Are NC is pleased to hear that the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy has backed off its plans to pursue harsh immigration laws in North Carolina.
The report’s release comes the same week as former President George W. Bush reiterated his support for reforming our broken immigration system; as a bipartisan Illinois state Senate voted in favor of undocumented immigrants’ access to driver licenses; and as House Speaker Thom Tillis stated that he has no interest in a sweeping anti-immigrant bill in North Carolina. While Rep. Harry Warren originally wanted to use this committee to explore harsh and vindictive legislation, like shutting off heat and utilities for undocumented immigrants, today’s report shows that public pressure has convinced the committee to pursue a new path.
Poll after poll shows that Americans still hold the values this country was based on, including the belief that we need a common sense immigration process that recognizes the contributions of people moving here, reunites families and creates a roadmap to citizenship for new Americans who aspire to be citizens. America deserves nothing less.
We hope, as the committee recommended, that the state’s congressional delegates in Washington, DC take leading roles in shaping a just, fair and humane immigration policy that keeps families together, protects workers and supports businesses.. We also support the Committee’s clear recommendation that the 2013 General Assembly “solicit input from a wide array of interested stakeholders" and that North Carolina take a pragmatic approach to immigration policy.
We Are NC does not support all of the committee’s recommendations. Public safety suffers when you turn local law enforcement into the long arm of immigration law,, and the problem of border security is solved through policy changes and not with wasteful spending on new fences and drones. If the state is to have any role at all, it should be to keep our communities together, to protect our state’s workers, and to educate all of our state’s children regardless of their immigration status.
We Are NC is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to shift the debate on immigration in our state. We are raising awareness about the efforts of some state legislators to enact discriminatory and harmful new laws that target the people of North Carolina. We believe in the contributions of all communities, including immigrants and refugees, who have worked hard to make NC what it is today.