The N.C. Association of Educators (NCAE) issued a statement Monday strongly opposing House Bill 370, which would require local sheriff’s to cooperate with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and assist federal authorities in deportation hearings.
If the bill becomes law, the NCAE said it could have a chilling effect on school children and their families.
“This bill would make children from the immigrant community more fearful of attending school, and needlessly inject more anxiety and stress into their lives,” the NCAE said.
The education advocacy group also said HB 370 has the potential to further damage relationships between local law enforcement agencies and immigrant communities.
“Those living in mixed-status families who are victims of crime, have witnessed crimes, or otherwise would wish to access law enforcement services, will be less willing to interact with law enforcement agencies that are sworn to protect and serve them,” the NCAE said. “We can scarcely afford to sow greater mistrust and fear in our communities, and we adamantly oppose any bill that seeks to do so.”
HB 370 has been stalled in the Senate since early April. It was referred to the committee on rules, but a hearing has yet to be scheduled.