A group of immigration activists stationed themselves outside of a government building on October 15th in a hunger strike.
They were encouraging Governor Pat McCrory to veto a piece of legislation that would crack down on the undocumented immigrants within the state. The Republican General Assembly recently passed HB 318 which helps to tighten the regulations that would confirm whether someone is legally authorized to work within the United States.
If this were to become law, it would also mean that the type of ID used to verify work authorization would change. The activists started their hunger strike the previous day, and fear that this is encouraging to discriminate against foreigners.
They fear that this will cause officers to question those who “look” undocumented, which is classified as racial profiling.
Results of HB 318
As of October 28th, Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 318 into law. This changes the way that immigrants can identify themselves. North Carolina cities can no longer accept ID that was not issued from a U.S. Agency.
Acceptable forms of identification include pay stubs, utility bills, housing contracts, property tax receipts, auto insurance policies, and other financial statements from institutions regulated by North Carolina.
This bill affects those who are applying for work in government agencies along with those who apply for food stamps. Many claim this bill is unfair for those who are trying to get jobs and feed their families.
Another concern includes the discouragement of undocumented immigrants to report crimes, which can lower the overall safety level of the state. The opposite argument is that this law will allow for law enforcement to better do their job and enforce the law.
McCrory can be quoted saying, “Today, North Carolina is standing up for the rule of law, which is central to North Carolina’s values and our country’s values. Public safety officials must have the flexibility and tools to investigate crimes and sanctuary city policies deprive law enforcement of these tools.”
Will this have the intended effect or will it cause more harm than good? If you need to know more about this bill or need to know your rights in relationship to HB 318, contact Neelam Bhardwaj today.