All eyes turn to November elections to defeat GOP anti-immigrant agenda
Less than a week ago, over 100,000 undocumented immigrants in North Carolina and their families received the devastating news that the Supreme Court failed to reach a decision on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and that Republican Party’s anti-immigrant agenda had yet again deferred their dreams.
To make matters worse, the North Carolina GOP is using its majority in the State Legislature to unleash a wave of unbridled animus against North Carolina immigrants in the form of House Bill 100. If passed this week, this bill will undermine the local identity card program that is vital to over 6,000 immigrants in the state and is a critical tool for law enforcement in numerous counties and major cities like Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Burlington, Chapel Hill, Asheboro, and Durham.
Anyone who observed the Senate debate of HB 100 on Monday afternoon saw that Senate Republicans have little concern for the strong objections to this bill from the law enforcement community including the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association and the Police Chief’s Association. Furthermore, Senator Jeff Jackson (D-37) raised grave concerns about how this bill would turn the Attorney General’s Office into an Immigration Czar that can summarily and without appeal, block state school and transportation funding to any municipality it deems not in compliance with state immigration laws.
Faced with these attacks from all sides, North Carolina immigrants and Latinos are quickly realizing that they must take action. All eyes are now focused on the November elections as a pivotal moment to protect their families and defeat this wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.
Below are quotes from grassroots leaders across the state:
“We are working to make sure immigrant parents who have children that are eligible to vote are talking to them and making sure they understand how important it is they turn out to vote on election day,” said Tony Estrada, a grassroots leader of Asheboro Unidos which is a member of the Faith Action ID Network.
“DAPA would have allowed my parents to get a driver’s license, a better job, buy a home, and feel safer in their own town without the constant fear that they live with now. The Supreme Court’s failure to reach a decision was heart-breaking for our family and millions of others but we will continue to fight because we have no other option,” said Ana Rodriguez of Robbins.
Referring to HB 100, Yubi Sandoval of Greensboro said, “I am saddened to see that our officials continue to provoke animosity against our community and see us as a threat. Their selfish ego has them paralyzed in this state of mind that benefits them and only them, even though the immigrant community has helped build this state, better yet, this nation. I’m highly disappointed, but I’m sure we won’t stop here.”
“The undocumented community pays $268 million in taxes every year to the state of North Carolina and Latinos in general contribute $7.5 billion each year to the economy so it makes no sense that Republicans are attacking immigrants at every turn,” said David Salazar, a Latino voter from Raleigh. “The Latino community is one of the fastest growing demographics in North Carolina and we will not forget how Republicans have treated our families.”
“We need to learn that voting in our community isn’t just our civic duty, it is a debt that we owe to our families who are not allowed to speak their voice because of fear. It is a privilege that we must not take for granted, it is our chance to be heard in a revolutionary way,” said Kathy Del Hoyo, a Latina millennial voter and student at North Carolina A&T State University.