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Activists And Community Members Protest Anti-Immigrant Law In North Carolina

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On Wednesday the state of North Carolina succumbed to the #TrumpEffect, as Governor Pat McCrory signed into law HB 318 – a harsh anti-immigrant law that promises to make the lives of immigrants even more insufferable.

In a move that can only be described as a slap in the face for immigrants and advocates, Governor McCrory he authorized the anti-immigrant measure in City of Greensboro – where a resolution opposing the anti-immigrant measure was passed by the City Council last week. Pro-migrant organization were swift in their response to the signing of HB 318, with the North Carolina ACLU providing the following statement:

“By making it harder for people to identify themselves to government officials, discouraging undocumented people from reporting crime, and banning local governments from passing measures aimed at improving public safety, this law makes all North Carolinians less safe,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Immigrants play important roles in our communities and economy. Laws like this encourage discrimination, send the message that North Carolina is unwelcoming, and make it harder for law enforcement officers to do their job keeping all members of the community safe.”

Activists from SEIRN, El Pueblo, and other local organizations also mobilized and launched a civil disobedience action in front of the Governor’s mansion. While the action ultimately resulted in the arrest of the participants, the North Carolina community has pledged that the signing of HB 318 is only the beginning of a much larger campaign:


The effects of HB 318 will be felt across various aspects of North Carolina. The bill places bans local governments from adopting “sanctuary city policies,” limits the types of identification that will be accepted by government officials, and will limit food assistance for jobless workers.

From the North Carolina Justice Center:

We are also deeply disturbed by how this bill limits jobless workers’ ability to receive food assistance. This could affect up to 100,000 North Carolinians and their broader communities, most of which are rural. The bill would permanently prevent North Carolina from waiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s benefit time limit.

As immigration continues to to be the subject of discussion at the national level, it is imperative to take notice on what is happening at the local level. North Carolina may have signed HB 318 into law, but other states, like Texas and Missouri, are also looking for ways to dehumanize immigrants across their communities.

We noted earlier this week that attacks on immigrants from Republicans, like Donald Trump and Pat McCrory, are mobilizing Latino voters across the country:

In Congress, the courts, the 2016 campaign trail, and states such as North Carolina, the Republican Party is engaged in a relentless assault on immigrants.  Yet in the face of the Republicans’ attacks, immigrants and their allies are standing up, fighting back, and engaging politically in a fashion that threatens the GOP’s short-term political success and long-term political viability.

That “standing up, fighting back, and engaging politically” was on full display yesterday in Raleigh.