North Carolina Anti-Immigrant Bill Becomes Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 202-384-1275, delatorre@nilc.org

Despite Recommendations from Law Enforcement Leaders, North Carolina Anti-Immigrant Bill Becomes Law

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Despite vocal opposition from local law enforcement leaders, elected officials, and community advocates, Gov. Pat McCrory today signed HB 318 into law. The bill, which attacks attempts to improve trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities and restricts an immigrants’ ability to identify him or herself, could have major unintended consequences for many North Carolinians, according to recent news reports. The bill also limits access to SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) for certain childless adults. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“At a time when communities’ trust in law enforcement severely strained, it is troubling that North Carolina has enacted a law that will further undermine North Carolinians’ trust. Though the legislature may claim otherwise, this bill is a direct attack on immigrant communities and on those struggling to make ends meet, at great cost to all North Carolinians. Community and law enforcement leaders from Charlotte to Guilford County have pointed out that this measure could hurt public safety and threaten civil rights, but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

“These sorts of attacks are nothing new, and opposition — especially from those charged with protecting our public safety — is unequivocal: A recent federal attempt to stop community trust policies drew fire from police chiefs, mayors, and many others who know that we’re all safer if immigrants and their families feel safe to work with police to prevent and solve crime. Furthermore, limiting ways in which a person can identify her or himself could effectively bar immigrants from accessing essential services, including obtaining a marriage license or child’s birth certificate, utilities, and potentially even school enrollment.

“North Carolina, much like the rest of our nation, is at a crossroads: We can continue to ostracize and criminalize vital members of our communities, or we can work together to come up with inclusive policies that make us all safer, healthier, and better able to use essential services when needed. We – along with those elected to represent us – must move past the hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric that spurs legally questionable legislation and instead get to work on solutions that move our communities forward together.”

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