The North Carolina Justice Center opposes House Bill 1074, an unnecessary and anti-immigrant tactic that will further marginalize North Carolina’s immigrant communities. The legislature passed a constitutional measure that will appear on the ballot this fall. The proposal will change language in the state constitution to assert that only U.S. citizens can vote. Such a measure is wholly unnecessary. It is already illegal for non-citizens to register to vote in North Carolina, and it is illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections. This bill’s sole purpose is to perpetuate fear and undermine confidence in the democratic process.

As North Carolinians, we know how important it is to be a good neighbor and community member. Unfortunately, both chambers approved this measure by a surprising margin, sending the opposite message that immigrants are not welcome and can be used as political pawns in an election year.

“As an immigrant to North Carolina who went through the grueling process of naturalization so that I could become a citizen and participate in democracy by voting, I fear that this proposed change in the language of our constitution is a stepping stone to further disenfranchising and disempowering us and our communities,” said Jasmina Nogo, Staff Attorney with the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project at the NC Justice Center.