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The North Carolina NAACP, the Forward Together Moral Movement and Latino rights organizations in North Carolina will stand together Friday afternoon to challenge Gov. Pat McCrory for pandering to racial fears in statements about Central American children fleeing violence at home and coming to the United States.Pat McCrory press event

McCrory claimed his recent remarks are motivated by his concern for the children’s welfare. But he cleverly manipulates false stereotypes about immigrants of color invading “our” country and state, to steal “our” resources and participate in criminal acts like drug trafficking and prostitution.

Latino advocacy and immigrants’ rights groups, including El Pueblo, El Centro Hispano, and others, will join Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP, at a Friday news conference at 1:00 p.m. in Raleigh to hold Gov. McCrory accountable for his political grandstanding. Advocates say the situation that should be addressed with compassion, love, and a thoughtful commitment of resources and energy.

The Forward Together Moral Movement also calls upon the NC state legislative leadership to state publicly whether they agree with the governor’s stance.

“These children have fled from trauma in search of the better life that America promises, and they should be welcomed in North Carolina, not turned into the targets of a manhunt to deport them,” said Rev. Barber.

Friday’s press conference will be held at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. A live stream of the event can be viewed here.

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House Bill 786, the “RECLAIM NC” Act, will be up for a vote soon on the NC House floor.  In spite of the restricted driving permit that could be offered to some immigrants, it is on balance a bill that will be harmful to the immigrant community in North Carolina, and will increase racial profiling even among US citizens. In the midst of so much going on at the General Assembly, this sweeping immigration legislation has not received the attention and scrutiny it deserves.

In community forums about the bill’s provisions around the state — Hendersonville, Raeford, Charlotte, Durham, Greenville, and Wilson so far — advocates have seen that there are a variety of opinions on the bill, but that once immigrant families understood the many negative provisions in the bill and the difficulty of obtaining a “restricted driving permit” under HB 786, they did not support the bill.

Beyond being costly, increasing incarceration of immigrants, and eroding civil liberties for all North Carolinians, there are six specific reasons I believe that legislators should vote AGAINST HB 786: Read More

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Last night, the DREAMers did it again. They took a hopeful message and their own personal stories to a new audience, asking members of the Winston-Salem City Council to support a resolution on in-state tuition for North Carolina high school graduates, regardless of immigration status. The DREAMers keep insisting that our public policies must reflect our deepest values of fairness and equal opportunity, showing that the power of people is stronger than inhumane laws and a broken immigration system. Read More

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In the days leading up to September 17th, a couple of friends in New York City mentioned something vague about a plan for social justice activists taking action in the city. I didn’t think much of it at the time, or even on the 17th and 18th—I just kept working hard on the issues most pressing here in North Carolina. Then, time passed, the action continued, the weekend came, the numbers in New York City’s financial district swelled, and I saw those videos of peaceful protesters being kettled and pepper-sprayed on a sidewalk September 24th.

At that moment, something changed for me.

I had just witnessed first-hand the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s September 6th arrests of undocumented students and their supporters at an “Undocumented and Unafraid” Rally. At that point, I realized OccupyWallStreet might be related to my life in North Carolina, and I needed to understand more. Read More