tags: , , , , , , , Blog

In NC, GOP-led Legislative Committee on Immigration Won't Make Recommendations

Share This:

When Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives put together a special committee on immigration last year, the expectation was that we’d see ugly legislative recommendations along the lines of Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56 recommendations. But, a funny thing happened along the way – probably something to do with the intense backlash and negative economic consequences in Arizona and Alabama and the 2012 elections. Now, the committee won’t make any recommendations:

A special House panel on immigration reform dissolved abruptly Thursday without any major legislative recommendations, an indication that Republican lawmakers are confounded by the politics of the contentious issue and reticent to follow the lead of other states by cracking down on illegal immigrants.

In a brief report, the committee recommended that lawmakers approve nonbinding resolutions in the next session urging the state’s congressional delegation to revise federal immigration laws and enforce security along its borders. As for legislation, the committee said lawmakers should “continue to review and revise previously introduced … legislation and solicit input from a wide array of stakeholders.”

“There are specific bills being written by individual members … and so we decided not to pre-empt them in our report and be broad and general,” said Rep. Frank Iler, an Oak Island Republican and committee co-chairman.

So, there’s still potential for trouble. Republicans maintained control of the North Carolina House and Senate – and they picked up the Governor’s office, too. But North Carolina immigration advocates see hope:

On the other side, advocates for immigrants “are optimistic that the General Assembly may understand that we need to have a balanced approach and you just can’t kick them out,” said Lacey Williams with the Latin American Coalition.