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Immigration reform still simmering in NC, nationally

Posted August 16, 2013

— A Thursday demonstration at Wake Technical Community College seeking in-state tuition for students who are in the U.S. illegally comes as the U.S. House weighs immigration reform proposals.

The U.S. Senate passed a reform package in June, calling for an increase in border security, tighter employment restrictions and a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people nationwide. The House leadership has said it will take up its own reform initiatives, but the success depends on Republicans agreeing to various provisions.

David McLennan, a William Peace University political science professor, said he believes Republicans nationwide are split on immigration reform.

"Simply because of what happened in 2012, they see the handwriting on the wall as the number of Latino voters grows," McLennan said. "In North Carolina, probably they're more consistent."

None of the House Republicans that WRAL News contacted this week said they support the Senate bill. Several said they oppose amnesty and favor incremental reform.

"Our immigration system is broken, and we should be more concerned with getting immigration reform right than getting it done quickly," 13th District Congressman George Holding said, adding that the Senate tried to tackle a series of complex issues in a sweeping bill and failed.

Immigration protest House Republicans hold key to future of immigration reform

"I will oppose any policy that allows individuals who have cheated the system and entered the country illegally to gain citizenship ahead of those who have put in the time and effort to follow the appropriate process," 3rd District Congressman Walter Jones said in a statement.

Second District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers declined to comment on the issue until the House has drafted legislation for consideration, according to a spokesman. Sixth District Congressman Howard Coble couldn't be reached for comment.

"It's a big issue because it impacts such a large part of the economy," McLennan said. "Clearly, the agriculture industry in North Carolina is impacted by it. The building industry is impacted by it."

Leonor Clavijo, the executive director of the North Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said Wake County alone has more than 3,000 Latino business owners. She sees immigration reform as an economic issue, noting that immigrants have buying power and political power.

"They have power and they show it, and that's why it's so important right now to offer opportunities to engage this population," Clavijo said. "We believe the best opportunity will be that the House pass what the Senate proposed."

McLennan said House Republicans will be the big losers entering an election year if immigration reform fails.

"Clearly, since House Republicans are the major roadblock, the House Republicans face the more difficult circumstances," he said.

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  • teddyspaghetti Aug 19, 1:14 p.m.

    The US is being hit from both sides. Illegals taking the lower paying jobs while Indians take the higher paying jobs.

    Did you know that the Dept of Revenue (as well as many other state agencies) has Indians on H1-B visas taking the jobs that NC citizens would love to have?? They don't even hire H1-B people that are living here....they import them directly from India!! No wonder our unemployment rate is 8.8%!!

    You'd think that the STATE would have something in their contracts that say companies need to hire citizens first!!!

  • whatelseisnew Aug 19, 12:20 p.m.

    "I hear "They take jobs citizens won't". "

    This has always been a lie perpetuated by the politicians that want the votes of these illegals, and YES they vote. Yes there are SOME jobs that very few Americans would WANT to do, but the Illegals have DISPLACED Millions of Americans and LEGAL immigrants from millions of jobs and thus commit additional crimes that the Federal Government simply just ignores.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 19, 12:18 p.m.

    Where is the Federal Government? Here you have some people that have come out of the Shadows? Apparently, these shadows are so deep and vast the Government has trouble locating millions of criminals. So here are a few, please pick them up and remove them from the country. Enforce the LAWS as you are supposedly SWORN to enforce.

  • rebelbelle Aug 19, 11:40 a.m.

    In 1986 there was an amnesty for all those here illegally, granting "a path to citizenship". The number of illegals QUADRUPLED!

    I hear "They take jobs citizens won't". Citizens won't take those jobs because welfare pays better--and these illegals won't take those jobs either once they have access to the welfare system. We need to take a hard look at a welfare system that has become a way of life for multiple generations before we add MORE drains on the economy to the welfare system.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 19, 10:59 a.m.

    Not surprise that Ms. Ellmer had no comment, she waiting on someone to tell her what to say. As for in state tution for illegals, that is wrong in so many ways. If out of state students pay, why shouldn't they have to pay? Also there was one thing missing from that lady's sign in picture "illegal"

  • IMPEACHOBAMA!!! Aug 19, 10:29 a.m.

    Wake Tech recently stopped giving free classes to seniors, yet these people, who are here illegally, still get free ESL classes and GED classes in Spanish!!! :(

  • remer54 Aug 19, 10:07 a.m.

    So I guess I can go to another country and make them suit my illegal status with benefits. I belive the unemployed and under employed is way greater then the gov. states.

  • Mom120 Aug 19, 9:21 a.m.

    "I will oppose any policy that allows individuals who have cheated the system and entered the country illegally to gain citizenship ahead of those who have put in the time and effort to follow the appropriate process," 3rd District Congressman Walter Jones said in a statement... exactly how I feel

  • Gidder Dun Aug 19, 8:07 a.m.

    "A Thursday demonstration at Wake Technical Community College seeking in-state tuition for students who are in the U.S. illegally comes as the U.S. House weighs immigration reform proposals."

    NO!!! If you are here illegally you SHOULD NOT get any benefits of those who are here legally period. If you want to pay in state tuition leave the US and come here legally and become a US citizen then you can qualify for in-state-tuition. I am tired of rewarding illegals just because they are here illegally. We are not supposed to take care of illegals and reward them. If that is the case we need to start letting criminals out of jail and or prison and reward them the same. We treat illegals better than those that are incarcerated and those that are here legally.