- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

ACLU warns House Bill 786 Would Lead to Racial Profiling

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC [1]) is sharply criticizing the RECLAIM NC Act [2], 786 [3]legislation the organization says would bring an Arizona-style anti-immigrant law to North Carolina.

As detailed on the Progressive Pulse yesterday [4], House Bill 786 would allow law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest. It would also require anyone who is undocumented and arrested to pay the cost of their incarceration, and law enforcement would be authorized to  seize and impound the vehicles of undocumented drivers.

“This is a harsh, Arizona-style anti-immigrant bill that will lead to racial profiling and send a message that North Carolina is a hostile environment for aspiring citizens,” said Sarah Preston, ACLU-NC Policy Director. “The proposal gives police the power to harass people based solely on suspicion of their immigration status, opening the door to stops based on stereotypes and racial bias rather than facts and evidence.”

The ACLU-NC notes that the bill flatly rejects matricula consular IDs issued by the Mexican government, while authorizing undocumented immigrants to obtain an annual driver’s permit that will include the driver’s thumbprint.

“While we agree that North Carolina should extend driving privileges to all who qualify, regardless of immigration status, everything else in this bill is unnecessary, anti-immigrant, and would move our state in the wrong direction,” Preston said.