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Meet the Brains and Bigotry Behind NC’s New Anti-Immigrant Bill

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Most years, a crazy unworkable immigration bill like North Carolina’s HB 318, would never pass the NC legislature, but this isn’t most years. This is the year of the #TrumpEffect.

So while Trump and his “Trumpettes” are taking the country by storm, lawmakers once thought to be too extreme for the main stream are getting their long awaited day in the sun.

No local lawmaker is benefiting more from Trump hysteria than Rep. George Cleveland in North Carolina. Rep. Cleveland is the main sponsor of HB 318 and he as a history of making wild claims and dangerous legislation. But now, his anti-immigrant bill has passed the NC legislature and is sitting on Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

So what exactly has Rep. George Cleveland proposed for the state of North Carolina in the past? Well, we’ve compiled his resume and it’s not pretty.

Rep. George Cleveland thinks a Civil War Confederate “hero” deserves the same consideration as a World War I hero or a World War II hero.

In 2015, the N.C. House voted to make it harder to remove historical monuments and memorials – including controversial Confederate war memorials throughout the state.

The bill would ban state agencies and local governments from taking down any “object of remembrance” on public property that “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.” This includes monuments being used as a rallying points for racism.

In response, Rep. Cleveland said:

“A Civil War hero deserves the same consideration as a World War I hero or a World War II hero.  I think in many cases folks would like to see the memorials to these people from our past go away.  I don’t think that’s the right thing to do for our history.  And I don’t think that’s the right thing to do for the State of North Carolina.”

Rep. Cleveland called for racially profiling people by their shaggy boots, jeans, t-shirt, and straw hat

In 2007 (while defending his proposed legislation that would tax international money transfers by undocumented people), Cleveland claimed Western Union ought to be able to tell who is an undocumented immigrant and who is not, just by looking at them.

Here’s what he said:

“Anyone working in a Western Union I would hope has enough common sense to be able to discern who they should question and who they shouldn’t… If a fella comes in with a pair of shaggy boots on, and jeans and a t-shirt, and he’s got a straw hat on? I mean, come on! Give me a break!”

Rep. Cleveland proposed banning Spanish voter instructions

In 2011, Rep. Cleveland introduced a bill to repeal North Carolina law which mandates that voter instructions be printed in both Spanish and English in counties where the Hispanic population exceeds 6 percent.

Rep. Cleveland said, “We have nobody in the state of North Carolina living in extreme poverty.”

Nearly eight percent of North Carolina’s population lives in deep poverty, which experts define as an income below half of the poverty line, far above the national average. The latest census showed that 17.5 percent of the state lives in poverty, the 13th highest rate in the country.

According to Rep. Cleveland, “There is nothing in the Constitution that addresses church and state.”

In 2011, Rep. Cleveland wrote:

There is nothing in the Constitution that addresses church and state, in fact for over a hundred years the Capitol building was used as a church. This was initiated by Thomas Jefferson. The idea of separation of church and state started in the twenties by secularists who did not want prayer in the public space. They have been quite successful in redefining the Constitution on this issue. I personally believe that the Country would be better off with prayer in the public space.

Rep. Cleveland once tried to ban North Carolina from Complying with the UN

During the 2012-13 legislative session, Rep. Cleveland was a primary sponsor on a bill that would have banned North Carolina from complying with Agenda 21, a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development.

Rep. Cleveland wants lawmakers and legislative staff to carry concealed handguns on the NC House and the Senate Floor to deter “troublemakers”

NC lawmakers considered a bill that would allow lawmakers and legislative staff to carry concealed handguns on the floor of the House and the Senate.

Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, said he didn’t think many lawmakers would choose to carry firearms around the Legislative Building but he supports the bill. Saying.

“We don’t have a large security element around our building, and I’m comfortable with that and would like it to stay like that,” Cleveland said, adding that the possibility that lawmakers are carrying would deter troublemakers.