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Immigrants ICEA recent court settlement in Alabama should serve as a warning to North Carolina legislators who still seek to pass anti-immigrant laws. Alabama agreed to settle two law suits brought against it after the passage of its harsh anti-immigrant law, HB 56, in 2011.  Both immigrants’ rights groups and the U.S. Department of Justice sued Alabama over different parts of the law, and both those suits settled last week.

Previously many of the harshest provisions of the Alabama law had already been temporarily blocked by courts, and in the new settlement, Alabama agreed that those provisions would never go into effect, including a provision requiring public schools to verify the immigration status of students, and one preventing all contracts with undocumented immigrants. The permanent blocking of those harmful provisions is a huge victory for immigrants in Alabama and across the nation.

Most of the parts of the law that are now permanently blocked in Alabama never made it into North Carolina’s omnibus immigration bill, HB 786, which was proposed in 2013.  However, several provisions in Alabama’s law were identical or similar to those proposed here, and their fate in this recent settlement should be of interest to state lawmakers.

North Carolina legislators, for example, Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

North Carolina has long benefited from the immeasurable economic contributions of its immigrant population who play a vital role as neighbors, entrepreneurs, consumers, and taxpayers. A new interactive map and companion statewide factsheet, launched today by the NC Justice Center, document key economic and demographic trends among immigrants living in North Carolina and its 100 counties.

Some noteworthy findings for immigrants living in North Carolina include: Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

Approximately 573,000   undocumented immigrants have applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. Three in four—or 430,000—applicants have received deferred action, meaning they have been granted work authorization and temporary relief from deportation. This is a significant accomplishment considering the program was launched last summer. Yet, challenges remain with the implementation in certain states and with building a more diverse pool of applicants.

Second only to Indiana, North Carolina has the highest implementation rate of DACA-approved applications as a share of total estimated DACA-eligible youth (including those not yet eligible). Our implementation rate stands at 45.5 percent but jumps closer to 100 percent when only considering the immediately eligible population. The implementation rates drops to a low of 5.4 percent in Maine and are lower-than-expected in 13 states and the District of Columbia, signaling more outreach is needed in these areas. Read More

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CambioWe as Americans know when a person is arrested and jailed in our country he or she has the right to a lawyer regardless of ability to pay.

Here’s the thing, though. People –including American citizens — who are jailed on immigration violations DO NOT have those same rights.

An immigration lawyer sure would have been helpful in the case of North Carolinian Mark Lyttle, a mentally ill native of Rowan County who was deported TWICE to Mexico in 2008. And there’s this doozy, where a man (finally determined to be a U.S. citizen by birthright) whose father is a U.S. citizen was deported at least four times based on a non-existent passage in the Mexican constitution.

Yes. As crazy as it sounds, American citizens get jailed and deported. Regularly.

According to immigration lawyer Kara Hartzler’s 2008 testimony in front of the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Immigration, her Arizona non-profit sees between 40 and 50 cases per month of people in immigration detention who have potentially valid claims to U.S. citizenship.

“These individuals will commonly be detained for weeks, months, and even years while attempting to prove their citizenship. While some are ultimately successful, others often abandon their cases in the face of what can feel like indefinite detention,” Hartzler states.

Read More

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On the heels of the legislature overriding his vetoes to an immigration bill and a bill that would drug test welfare recipients, Gov. Pat McCrory appeared before State Board of Education members to address the legislature’s actions and reveal his education policy agenda in the wake of the long legislative session.

After speaking of his disagreement with this morning’s overrides of his vetoes and his intention not to enforce drug testing welfare recipients until the legislature funds that mandate, McCrory turned his attention to education.

Once again, McCrory pointed to the high cost of the Medicaid program as the reason why teachers did not receive a raise this year.

McCrory admonished lawmakers for inserting education policy into the budget bill, and called for action right now with regard to higher pay for current master’s degree-seeking teachers.

“I asked my budget director if we can find revenue for teachers already in master’s degree programs to get the salary supplement. He said yes,” said McCrory. Read More