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Immigrant rightsThe following post comes to us from Hector Vaca, Charlotte Director of the progressive advocacy group, Action NC:

“Now hear this!  A People’s platform opposing HB 786, the RECLAIM NC Act

In the last few weeks, I’ve worked with community leaders and members of our organization, Action NC, and various partner groups around the state, to hold community forums in Spanish about House Bill 786, the “RECLAIM NC” Act, being considered now in the state legislature. In the forums, our organizations and lawyers shared information about exactly what is included in each section of the bill.  But the main goal of the workshops was to hear from immigrant communities directly THEIR thoughts and opinions on the bill. Participants had a variety of ways to express their views about these issues, including group discussion, Q&A and interactive activities like voting on various provisions as harmful or beneficial.

By now, forums have happened all over the state, from Hendersonville to Burgaw, from Charlotte to Durham, from Greenville to Siler City, from Raleigh to Raeford, and other towns, too. There have been at least 18 workshops in all. The sizes of forums ranged from 15 participants to 120 or more. More than 750 immigrant community members have participated in total.  This is no small accomplishment, and it means, to us at Action NC, that the immigrant community is discussing the bill in some detail, and here’s what they are saying: Read More

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The good folks at the Immigration Policy Center and the American immigration Council have released newly updated state-by-state fact sheets with accompanying infographics that highlight the demographic and economic impact of New Americans, Asians and Latinos in each state. This is from the introduction to the North Carolina page:

“Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and population in the electoral swing state of North Carolina. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 7.3% of the state’s population, while more than 1 in 10 North Carolinians are Latino or Asian. Moreover, Latinos and Asians wield $22.9 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $10.1 billion and employed more than 63,000 people. At a time when the economy is still recovering, North Carolina can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.”

Click here to view the very cool and informative infographic.

 

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The good people at Imagine 2050, a group committed to making America’s increasingly diverse and multi-racial society work for everyone have posted a report on the cookie-cutter legislation passed last week by the House that seeks to respond to the imaginary threat of “Sharia law.”  

The post also reports that the troubled characters behind the movement to pass such bills into law around the country by the American Laws for American Courts initiative (ALAC):

“Some news outlets and blogs have even mentioned the bill’s roots in the ALAC model. Equally, or perhaps more, important is this bill’s link to the original ALAC author, David Yerushalmi, an anti-Muslim activist and lawyer with a record of extremist rhetoric and questionable ties. Read More

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Towed carHB 786, or the RECLAIM NC Act, should be called the “Repo” Act.

Most of the attention in the RECLAIM –er, Repo Act — has been focused on a provision that would provide a limited number of undocumented immigrants driver permits, or on the part cribbed from a racist Arizona bill that would allow law enforcement officers to arrest people they “suspect” might be undocumented immigrants.

One overlooked horror in this bill is Part X. This provision would impound and then sell at auction all the cars driven by anyone who is found guilty of driving without a license, whose insurance has lapsed and a few other similar violations.

Last fiscal year, more than 215,000 people were charged with one of those misdemeanors, according to statistics maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts. If “Repo” were law in 2012, all the vehicles these people had been driving would have been impounded. Read More

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A North Carolina House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the “RECLAIM NC” Act today, an Arizona-style immigration bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Warren and 13 others (including a key member of Speaker Thom Tillis’ leadership team, Rep. Ruth Samuelson). The proposal includes a raft of anti-immigrant provisions, including making it harder for undocumented immigrants to post bond for minor criminal offenses, requiring them to pay for their own incarceration time, and making it easy to seize and impound cars of people caught driving without insurance or a proper license. 

The bill also includes the odd and controversial twist of “requiring” all undocumented immigrants to register for a “restricted driving permit,” which would not the same thing as a driver’s license. Representative Warren claims that the driver’s permit requirement is intended to make all drivers safer by identifying folks who are driving on state roads.  This claim is belied, however, by the fact that bill: a) requires undocumented immigrants to register for a state ID card even if they have no intention of driving at all, and b) excludes many people from obtaining the driving permit at all.

Probably the most telling moment of this morning’s hearing was when the committee discussed the “show me your papers” provision, and Representative Rick Glazier asked  Warren how a law enforcement officer could form a “reasonable suspicion” that someone was in the country without papers. Watch the exchange here:

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As you can see, Read More