Raleigh, N.C. — It's not often that a pending North Carolina law makes its way into a presidential campaign, but Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign took a swipe Friday at House Bill 318, calling the measure "simply unacceptable."
The bill would prohibit state and local government from recognizing consular cards and other identity documents issued by foreign governments for most purposes. Law enforcement would be able to use the documents only if a person they are arresting or helping has no other ID on him or her.
House Bill 318 also prohibits local governments from ordering their police agencies not to enforce federal immigration laws or to make immigration enforcement a lower priority. Proponents say such "sanctuary city" provisions allow police to focus on more pressing issues and develop better relationships with immigrant communities, but critics argue that those here illegally are committing a crime that should be prosecuted.
"This anti-immigrant bill is more evidence of the influence Donald Trump has on the Republican Party," said Lorella Praeli, Hillary for America's Latino outreach director.
Trump, the businessman and GOP front-runner, has been decidedly antagonistic toward immigrants, particularly from Mexico, Central America and South America, during his campaign remarks.
"The negative impact on the immigrant community would be immeasurable, and the bill will only damage the community trust necessary to have effective policing in the state. Republican Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, should veto this bill," Praeli continued.
That veto seems unlikely to come.
McCrory's campaign earlier this week sent an email pushing back against the idea of sanctuary city programs.
"As governor, I believe that every law enforcement officer is sworn to uphold not only the laws of North Carolina, but also the laws of the United States ... and that includes our immigration laws," McCrory said in the email to supporters. "At the end of the day, I don’t believe anyone should give sanctuary in any part of our state and nation to people who break our laws, especially drug traffickers, human traffickers and violent criminals."