Protesters hope to deter McCrory's participation in immigration lawsuit
January 15, 2015 By Ken Smith WRAL
One day after the U.S. House voted to overturn President Barack Obama’s key immigration policies, dozens of people gathered outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh on Thursday to protest Gov. Pat McCrory’s participation in a lawsuit against the president’s efforts. With Obama likely to veto any legislation killing his immigration plan and the House measure now going to the U.S. Senate, Wednesday’s vote will likely be symbolic.
But the lawsuit against the president’s policies, led by Texas Attorney General and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, is moving forward. North Carolina is one of 17 states represented in the suit, which asks for a judge to block Obama’s actions. Under an executive order announced Nov. 20, an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years are protected from deportation and will have a right to work. The lawsuit alleges that Obama overreached his presidential powers...
Those gathered outside McCrory's residence Thursday want the governor to withdraw his name from the suit. read article
FIXING THE SYSTEM
President Obama is Taking Action on Immigration
America’s immigration system is broken. The President is taking executive action to fix what he can to help build a system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. watch video
More on the positive economic impact of licensing all drivers
Alexandra Sirota April 29, 2014
In a new report released by the Immigration Policy Center, researchers document the ripple effects of withholding driver’s licenses from unauthorized immigrants. Similar to the report the Budget & Tax Center released a few weeks ago, their analysis finds that without a driver’s license, the ability to participate in economic and social life is restricted.
Among their findings are:
NC Justice Center Handout:
IMMIGRANTS IN NORTH CAROLINA AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Click for front and back Handout explaining Obamacare for Immigrants
Obama’s huge new immigration plan, explained
by Dara Lind on November 21, 2014 VOX
Obama’s immigration plan draws mixed response; McCrory open to legal action
by Clayton Henkel November 20, 2014
President Barack Obama’s plan to sidestep Congress and order his own action on immigration, sparing as many as 5 million people from deportation is drawing a mixed response:
“With this latest executive order, President Obama is making new law by bypassing Congress. I’m already discussing with other governors a long-term solution to immigration reform as well as an appropriate legal response to this unconstitutional overreach of the White House...”
— Governor Pat McCrory
“We are relieved and grateful that President Obama finally has kept his promise to address our broken immigration system and relieve the fear of permanent exile and family separation that has plagued immigrants and American families...”
— National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy
“Tonight the President announced his intention to pursue amnesty for illegal immigrants through executive action. This decision, counter to his own statements over the last few years, represents the very height of Presidential arrogance ...”
– U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
See more here
Obama Plan May Allow Millions of Immigrants to Stay and Work in U.S.
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, JULIA PRESTON
and ASHLEY PARKER
NOV. 13, 2014 New York Times
President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.
Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away. read article
New Study: Consumer spending by immigrants generates jobs, billions for NC’s economy
by Clayton Henkel Tuesday, April 15, 2014
A new study released Tuesday by the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) shows the profound economic impact immigrants have had on North Carolina’s economy.
According to the extensive study by researchers at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School:
Home to Me: Immigrant Stories from NC - Valeria Sotelo
12/18/2013 by Staff NC Policy Watch
Too often, immigrant stories are told by others, whether in the media, legislature, history books or in our common imagination. “Home to Me: Immigrant Stories from NC” is a new multimedia series presented by the NC Justice Center based on the belief that stories told by immigrants, in their own words, have the power to change our assumptions about who immigrants are and deepen our understanding of the migration experience. Every month, the project will release a new story from an individual or family, and the series as a whole will highlight a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
This month’s video features Valeria Sotelo, a student at Salem College. ...Valeria wants lawmakers to consider the individuals who have come to call North Carolina their home and have worked tirelessly to achieve their dreams, both for themselves and their families. watch video
2 Friends Reach Across the Aisle on Immigration
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR JAN. 21, 2014 NY Times
...Esther Olavarria, a Democrat...worked as Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s top immigration lawyer and now holds a post in the White House. Rebecca Tallent, a Republican...became Senator John McCain’s chief of staff, briefly advised Sarah Palin in 2008 and is now a top policy aide to Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio.
But if there is any way to unlock the immigration stalemate in Washington, colleagues say these two might find it. A decade ago, the two women spent months in marathon back-room deal-making sessions as they repeatedly tried to bring lawmakers together on overhauls that would have given legal status to immigrants...In the process, they formed a friendship that transcended party affiliation...
...The goals, which are expected to be outlined in detail in the next week, are likely to include bolstered border security and enforcement inside the country, fast-track legalization for agricultural laborers, more visas for high-tech workers, and an opportunity for young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children to become American citizens. read article
Immigrants march for North Carolina driver's licenses
March 23, 2014 WTVD
Several hundred protestors marched to the Governor's Mansion Saturday afternoon demanding Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers take action on immigration reform.
The march stopped at the Governor's Mansion and the legislative building in the newest push for more protection under state law. The "March of Licenses" is an effort to encourage the state to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. Hundreds of immigrants and their supporters marched in hopes of being able to drive in North Carolina. read article/watch video
In-state tuition for young immigrants: Good for them, good for North Carolina
2/10/2014 by Raul Pinto NC Policy Watch
..., in 2012, the Obama administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects from deportation immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age... Unfortunately, state officials have inexplicably created a new obstacle for DACA recipients... Any DACA student living in North Carolina who applies for or attends one of our state’s many public universities will not be eligible for in-state tuition, making it harder, if not impossible, for thousands of such young people to afford college. This is true no matter how long they’ve lived (and paid taxes) in the state.
...The effects of paying out-of-state tuition can be devastating to a family... It is also worth noting that DACA recipients are not eligible for financial aid and that private scholarships are extremely difficult to come by... It makes little fiscal sense to develop the young minds of immigrant students, educate them through high school and then close the door after they have been given an opportunity to work legally in the country...
More than 16 other states have enacted legislation which makes DACA recipients eligible for in-state tuition, while other state university systems..., have adopted policies helping DACA recipients to be classified as in-state residents for tuition purposes. It’s about time that North Carolina’s leaders see the tremendous value in providing affordable higher education to the thousands of DACA recipients who want nothing more than to give back to the very state that they call home. read article
Home to Me: Immigrant Stories from NC - Sai Kham
Jan 31, 2014 NC Justice Center
Sai is from Laos. His father passed away when he was 12. When he came to America from a Thai refugee camp at the age of 14, he gave away all his clothes and possessions -- except an English dictionary -- to his friends in the camp.
"Home to Me: Immigrant Stories from NC" is a multimedia series from the NC Justice Center's Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project based on the belief that stories told by immigrants, in their own words, have the power to change our assumptions about who immigrants are and deepen our understanding of the migration experience. watch video
Boehner: No Formal Talks on Immigration Bill
Nov.13, 2013 (AP) By DONNA CASSATA
Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that the House will not hold formal, compromise talks on the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill, a fresh signal from the Republican leadership that the issue is dead for the year. The slow, relatively quiet death came more than four months after the Senate, on a bipartisan vote, passed a far-reaching bill that would provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally and tighten border security.
That fanfare for that bill was quashed by strong opposition among House Republican rank and file who reject a comprehensive approach and question offering citizenship to people who broke U.S. immigration laws to be in this country. House incumbents also are wary of primary challenges from the right. read article
Did shutdown 'poison the well' for immigration reform?
by Carrie Dann, NBC News Oct. 20, 2013
Prospects for a comprehensive immigration reform bill remain cloudy after a bruising shutdown fight for Republicans that left hard feelings in Washington...
“There will definitely have to be a cooling off period,” said Marshall Fitz, the director of immigration policy for the progressive Center for American Progress...
The ink wasn’t even dry on the bill to end the debt impasse Wednesday night before the president revived the issue of immigration reform as a top domestic priority. “Let's not leave this problem to keep festering for another year or two years or three years,” President Barack Obama said...
"If immigration were brought to the floor
tomorrow it would pass ... in the House of Representatives, overwhelmingly," Reid said. "The American people want it, it would reduce the debt by a trillion dollars. It’s long overdue." But there's no indication that scenario is more likely now than it was for the months when Boehner insisted he would stick with the House’s “step-by-step” process instead. read article
Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants make sense for North Carolina
9/16/2013 by Raul Pinto
NC Policy Watch
... regardless of whether Congress comes to a consensus on a bill that would put an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, about 325,000 of those in North Carolina, on a path to citizenship, the truth of the matter is that the U.S. cannot deport 11 million people back to their countries of origin. It is not sensible, fiscally or morally.
Sadly, one byproduct of the current gridlock is that many undocumented immigrants in North Carolina are forced to drive without a license just to carry on their daily lives because our state denies driver’s licenses to immigrants who do not have a Social Security number. However, a growing number of states across the country, including Maryland, Utah, and New Mexico, grant licenses to all qualified drivers regardless of immigration statu...Doing so would make our roads safer for all drivers. Undocumented immigrants in North Carolina drive out of necessity. read article
State immigration reform fizzles
WRAL By Laura Leslie
July 16, 2013
After more than a year of work, House leaders have given up on a bill that would have made big changes to state immigration laws, including allowing driving permits for people in the country illegally.
House Bill 786 was turned into a study bill by a floor amendment during debate Tuesday.
The bill would have allowed police to verify anyone's immigration status "where there is reasonable suspicion that the person is not lawfully present in the U.S.," said sponsor Rep. Jonathan Jordan, R-Ashe. read article
Senate Moves Forward on Immigration Bill
By JORDAN FABIAN CBS News
June 11, 2013
The Senate's landmark immigration bill passed a key procedural test on Tuesday, the first step on a long road for it to become law.
The Senate voted to limit debate on the motion to proceed to the bill. Later in the afternoon, senators voted 84-15 to proceed to the bill. In layman's terms, that means the Senate debate on the bill will officially begin. Now, senators can give floor speeches and offer amendments to the legislation.
See Also: Everything You Need To Know About Immigration Reform
By Laura Leslie
April 16, 2013
A bill banning the recognition of Islamic Sharia law in North Carolina is scheduled for a final state House vote Thursday after it won tentative approval late Wednesday night.
..Sponsor Rep. Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania, said House Bill 695 would protect North Carolinians' constitutional rights in cases involving "foreign law."
..."Has this been a problem in North Carolina anywhere?" asked Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham.
"Not yet," Whitmire answered, adding, "we have at least 27 cases in multiple states where it has."
"You’re acknowledging we don’t have a problem here," Luebke responded. "I cannot see for the life of me why we need a bill like this."
...Anti-Islamic connections ...the American Public Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes model anti-Sharia legislation written by David Yerushalmi...a Brooklyn attorney with a history of inflammatory statements about Islam, race, and immigration, but "no formal training" in Islamic law.
Yerushalmi is general counsel for the Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think-tank that's published dozens of articles, books, and films about the danger Islam poses to Western civilization. read article
The RECLAIM NC Act will not deliver on public safety goals & is likely to be costly
THE COST OF DOING NOTHING: Dollars, Lives, and Opportunities Lost in the Wait for Immigration Reform
Immigration bill vetoed by McCrory
By Matthew Burns
August 16, 2013
Gov. Pat McCrory kept his veto stamp warm Thursday, rejecting an immigration-related bill shortly after one on drug testing for welfare applicants.
Lawmakers turned most of House Bill 786, called the RECLAIM NC Act, into a study of the impact on the state if restricted driver's permits were issued to people who are in the U.S. illegally and if law enforcement were allowed to verify people's immigration status. read story
Senate Immigration Reform Bill Passes With Strong Majority
by Elise Foley 06/27/2013
The Senate passed a politically fraught immigration reform bill on Thursday that would give a path to citizenship to some of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S...
The opponents have expressed hope that the bill will die in the House, which is a possibility, given Republican opposition there...
The bill's supporters in the Senate said they hope the House passes legislation that can be combined with the bill, and perhaps adds things they weren't able to include."This isn't the end of the process, we're kind of at halftime," Hoeven said after the vote. "So the next thing is to figure out how we get the House to engage." read article
Immigration Policy Center
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and population in the electoral swing state of North Carolina... At a time when the economy is still recovering, North Carolina can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.
Get PDF of above infographic, fact sheets and more
In House, Immigration Spurs Push by G.O.P.
By ASHLEY PARKER and JULIA PRESTON
June 6, 2013
With the Senate beginning debate next week on an ambitious bill to overhaul the immigration system, Republicans in the House moved this week to set a tougher tone on the issue and to stake out their own course on legislation. read article
The Progressive Pulse
April 29, 2013
by Jessica Rocha
Most of the attention in the RECLAIM--er, Repo Act--has been focused on a provision that would provide a limited number of undocumented immigrants driver permits, or on the part cribbed from a racist Arizona bill that would allow law enforcement officers to arrest people they “suspect” might be undocumented immigrants.
One overlooked horror in this bill is Part X. This provision would impound and then sell at auction all the cars driven by anyone who is found guilty of driving without a license, whose insurance has lapsed and a few other similar violations...about 65,000 cars would have been repossessed by the state--e.g. Repo’d –if “Repo” had been law in 2012.
Even if the drivers of the cars would have been found innocent, car owners would still be responsible for towing and impoundment fees under “Repo”, which will put a big dent in the pocketbooks of North Carolina’s families...Maybe the sponsors of the “Repo Act” should send HB 786 to the chop shop instead of to the House floor. read post
APRIL 22, 2013
The xenophobia has already begun.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today urged him to reconsider immigration legislation because of the bombings in Boston. “The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system,” Paul writes. “If we don’t use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs.”
...Can we just get a grip? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a naturalized American citizen. He came to the United States when he was nine years old. He attended the public schools of Cambridge, Massachusett...Immigration reform is not about national security, in any event. It’s about doing what’s right, and giving the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America--many of them here for years, working at jobs and paying withholding taxes, and many of them children--a path to citizenship. read column
The Progressive Pulse
April 11, 2013
by Clayton Henkel
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is sharply criticizing the RECLAIM NC Act, legislation the organization says would bring an Arizona-style anti-immigrant law to North Carolina.
As detailed on the Progressive Pulse, House Bill 786 would allow law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop... It would also require anyone who is undocumented and arrested to pay the cost of their incarceration, and law enforcement would be authorized to seize and impound the vehicles of undocumented drivers. read post
NC Policy Watch
by Rob Schofield
The conservative war on immigrants continues in North Carolina...As they have in so many other areas this year, state leaders are bucking the national trend and “doubling down” on their message of general hostility to immigrants....The most notable recent example of this disturbing brand of backwards-looking politics, of course, is the infamous pink--sorry,fuchsia--stripe that the McCrory administration has decided to affix to the driver’s licenses it will issue (as it is required to do by law) to young people granted the right to stay in the United States under the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The move...will make North Carolina the only state in the union to use of such badge read article
By Anne Blythe
March 4, 2013
Democratic Reps. Paul Leubke of Durham, Rick Glazier of Fayetteville, Rosa Gill of Raleigh and Deb McManus of Siler City introduced a bill last week to prohibit the immigrants’ licenses from being distinguishable from other licenses.
Glazier called the distinctive design “shameful and cruel.” Leubke called the “pink licenses” a “disgrace.” Gill called them signs of discrimination... read article
Nation of Change
Feb 22, 2013
Are the boomers doomed? Not necessarily. One possible response to the aging of America, not yet on the table: Expand the number legal immigrants coming to America. ... One logical way to help deal with the crisis of funding Social Security and Medicare is to have more workers per retiree. And the simplest way to do that is to allow more immigrants into the U.S. Immigration reform and entitlement reform have a lot to do with one another. read post
February 21, 2013
Bertrand M. Gutierrez
North Carolina is the only state that will clearly mark all people who are not U.S. citizens...with a newly designed driver’s license coming this summer, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislation in all the states.
At the same time, Republicans in the state House are trying to block a recent decision by state transportation officials to issue licenses to one type of non-U.S. citizen--immigrants who have qualified for a two-year reprieve from deportation. Those immigrants have been deemed by the federal government and the state attorney general’s office as being lawfully present in the U.S. read article
This time we know that change really does depend on us. Read about the President's plan and then let's get both our Senators to sign on.
Huffington Post: 1/29/2013
President Barack Obama made an economic and moral case on Tuesday for the need for comprehensive immigration reform, vowing he would send legislation to Congress and insist on a vote if bipartisan efforts there fail.
"I’m here today because the time has come for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform," he said in a Las Vegas speech laying out his ideas for a bill, surrounded by a crowd of advocates for reform and immigrants who might benefit from it. "The time is now." read article and watch video of speech.
We need to create a fair and effective immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
And for the first time in many years, there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. But action must follow.
"It’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long."
- PRESIDENT OBAMA
By Rosalind S. Helderman and David Nakamura
A working group of senators from both parties is nearing agreement on broad principles for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, representing the most substantive bipartisan effort toward major legislation in years. read artricle