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NC still eyes tougher stance on illegal immigration

Posted June 25, 2012
Updated June 26, 2012

— Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that struck down much of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants, North Carolina lawmakers are still considering legislation that would toughen restrictions on immigrants in this state.

The court upheld the "show me your papers" requirement mandating law enforcement officers to check the status of people stopped for various reasons who might appear to be in the U.S. illegally.

Interactive: Supreme Court rules on Arizona immigration law

But justices threw out three other provisions of the law: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

"I think the message establishes the clarity as to what the limitations are as to what you can or can't do," said Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, who heads a North Carolina House committee on immigration.

Warren said the committee waited for the Supreme Court decision in the Arizona case before making any recommendations as to what North Carolina should do. There's at least one pending bill, Senate Bill 604, that would give law enforcement more authority to enforce immigration laws.

"This is a cost, and we have to address it," Warren said, noting that illegal immigrants cost North Carolina money for schooling, health care and law enforcement.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that North Carolina has about 325,000 "unauthorized" immigrants, giving the state the ninth-highest illegal immigrant population in the U.S.

William Gheen, president of Raleigh-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said the court's refusal to invalidate the "show me your papers" requirement is a victory for states looking to control illegal immigration.

"This Supreme Court ruling in our favor is an historic victory for Americans fighting against the corporate-sponsored illegal alien invasion of our homeland," Gheen said in a statement. "We believe that we now have the momentum to pass versions of Arizona's SB 1070 law in many other states since the court upheld the most important provision in the bill."

Immigration advocates argued, however, that the Supreme Court decision makes it clear that states should leave immigration enforcement to the federal government. Illegal immigrant, Undocumented and unafraid Illegal immigrants say they will continue fighting for rights

“The Supreme Court’s decision makes clear that aspects of Arizona’s law raise serious constitutional concerns and is further proof of why North Carolina should not follow Arizona’s path," Raul Pinto, racial justice attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, said in a statement.

"Anti-immigrant laws modeled after Arizona’s undermine police work, harm businesses, threaten our most basic American values and are proving to be a failed experiment that we must not repeat here," Pinto said.

"In our view, this is the nail in the coffin to North Carolina's efforts to try and regulate on the issue of immigration," said Kate Woomers-Deters, an attorney with the left-leaning North Carolina Justice Center.

Alicia Torres, who crossed into the U.S. with her family 20 years ago, said she and other illegal immigrants will continue fighting for their rights in the country.

"The rights we are fighting for are basic human rights," said Torres, 26, of Carrboro.

Torres has a nursing degree but cannot get a job in the field because she doesn't have immigration documents.

"We're going to continue fighting," she said. "We're going to continue to go out there and say, 'Look, this is our status. We're not going to move, and we're going to demand Congress take a stronger stance.'"

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  • markbruno4 Jul 3, 8:46 a.m.

    mr.president they are not doing a job I am not willing to do,they are doing it at a price I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WORK FOR AS A LEGAL AMERICAN ROOFER IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.Why should I have to compete against people that can work so cheap.Bring our military home,GO TOWN TO TOWN,,COUNTY BY COUNTY AND STATE BY STATE,AND MARCH THESE ILLEGALS BACK TO THERE COUNTRY CLEANING OUR HIGHWAYS UP ALONG THE WAY.IT IS TIME THAT WE PUT ALL OF OUR MILITARY TO WORK PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND MY AMERICAN JOB.wehave the military resources to secure our borders and round these illegals up and march them back to there country.If american LEGAL criminals can clean up our highways WHY CANT ILLEGAL CRIMINALS DO THE SAME WHILE BEING MARCHED HOME UNDER THE SECURITY OF OUR AMERICAN MILITARY.(((((((MR.PRESIDENT I NEED MY JOB BACK THAT WAS TAKEN AWAY BY THESE ILLEGAL CRIMINALS))))))CAN YOU PLEASE PROTECT MY JOB AND QUIT LETTING ILLEGAL CRIMINALS COME AND STAY IN MY COUNTRY

  • Legally Here Jun 28, 3:28 p.m.

    Go NC!!!!

  • bluemax4195 Jun 27, 1:46 p.m.

    "The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that North Carolina has about 325,000 "unauthorized" immigrants, giving the state the ninth-highest illegal immigrant population in the U.S."

    Wonder how many of those 325,000 actually have "jobs" they shouldn't even have in the first place, which could be given to "legal" immigrants and other American citizens!

    What are we waiting for! It's PAST time we got this done as a state!

  • delta29alpha Jun 27, 8:43 a.m.

    That Torres woman should have been arrested. It's an insult that she flaunts herself in front of everyones face. There has to be some way that we can force ICE to take action by making a formal complaint, signed petitions or protest marches. Maybe we can picket in front of her house to draw attention to her illegal presence.

  • delta29alpha Jun 27, 8:30 a.m.

    Throw all the illegals out, including that troublemaking Torres woman. If we need unskilled labor then revamp the system to make it easier to get work visa's They don't have to become citizens in order to work here. Many don't want to be citizens, they just want to work and send their money back home to their family. The farmers should be able to ship them in to do the work they are contracted to do and then ship them back. Those that do want to become citizens should apply just like any other foreigner who wants to immigrate here. keep in mind that we can not take in everyone who wants to come here.

  • muggs Jun 26, 7:55 p.m.

    UNDOCUMENTED UNAFRAID,That just about sums it up for today,also should read UNWANTED.

  • muggs Jun 26, 6:25 p.m.

    Is there a statute of limitation on illegals being caught or is the rule "if you don't catch me in a certain time period then I become a citizan",seems as if that is the new Obama plan,it also must include his illegal uncle who is still in this country.

  • froggygirl Jun 26, 6:18 p.m.

    timexliving--do you have to carry papers showing that you are a citizen? Watch out, you may be next.

  • muggs Jun 26, 6:15 p.m.

    froggygirl, With so many demonstrating and defying the laws on illegal immigration,making demands of amnesty,declaring they won't leave no matter what and will continue to fight,if this was any other group they would be rounded up and shipped out,all we have is their ethnic appearance to go by,if they are legal then a minor interuption by law enforcement in order to verify their status should be no problem,there is no clear cut way to do this, but to give them the advantage over law enforcement is not doing justice to our own,we did not create this situation,they have and now by making demands have just magnified the problem,you might as well spit on our flag as to tell us you are not going to abide by our laws,that is what they have done.

  • timexliving Jun 26, 6:09 p.m.

    What is "show me your papers"? What's the big deal?!?

    The last time I was pulled over for a moving traffic violation I had to show my papers as in registration and driver's license. We all have to show or papers whether we are here legally or not.

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