Yesterday North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB 318 into law. The bill prevents the state’s cities from accepting certain forms of identification and also limits access to food stamp benefits for some childless adults.
According to a report by Elise Foley at the Huffington Post:
“The state House approved the immigration bill in September to deal with, in the words of Republican sponsor Rep. George Cleveland, “illegal aliens.” The bill is part of a broader effort to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, where municipalities limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. One of its provisions bans local governments from instructing police not to ask about immigration status or share information with ICE.
The bill also requires state and local governments to contract only with companies that check the immigration status of workers.
But it also targets undocumented immigrants directly, by preventing police and government agencies from accepting IDs from foreign governments, often the only valid identification they have.”
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center issued the following statement after Governor McCrory signed the bill, “At a time when communities’ trust in law enforcement severely strained, it is troubling that North Carolina has enacted a law that will further undermine North Carolinians’ trust. Though the legislature may claim otherwise, this bill is a direct attack on immigrant communities and on those struggling to make ends meet, at great cost to all North Carolinians. Community and law enforcement leaders from Charlotte to Guilford County have pointed out that this measure could hurt public safety and threaten civil rights, but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.”
This law is considered an anti-sanctuary cities policy in response to the murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. In July, Steinle was killed by an undocumented immigrant with a criminal record.
There is evidence that suggests anti-immigrant state laws, such as the one just signed by Governor McCrory, are put into effect that immigrant communities cooperate less with law enforcement, are reluctant to accompany their children to school, and leave their homes less frequently.
The North Carolina law exemplifies how in the absence of a federal immigration overhaul, the states will continue to make their own immigration laws.
Photo credit: By Hal Goodtree from Cary, North Carolina, USA (Pat McCrory) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons