State News

NC billboards express support for immigrants

Posted December 13, 2011

— A Raleigh-based nonprofit on Tuesday unveiled a statewide billboard campaign in support of immigrants.

Uniting NC called on North Carolinians to "welcome the stranger" this holiday season and to treat immigrants with respect.

"We’ve watched states like Alabama and Arizona be torn apart by fear and anger about immigrants,” Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh said in a statement. “Here in North Carolina, we have an opportunity to do better than that. In this holiday season, let’s remember that, when we talk about immigration, we are talking about human beings who have the same hopes and desires that any of us do.”

The first billboards will go up in Raleigh, followed by Durham, Mebane, Charlotte, Asheville and Goldsboro.

The billboards were paid for using a grassroots method called "crowdfunding." Uniting NC proposed the project online, and more than 250 people contributed toward the cost of buying them, officials said.

Fiaz Fareed, an immigrant from Indian and the outreach coordinator for the Islamic Association of Raleigh, said members of the Muslim community often feel that they are looked at with suspicion or negative stereotypes.

"I moved here because I wanted to live in a country where all people are treated equally and where everyone has a chance to work for the American dream,” Fareed said in a statement. “Let’s make sure we remain the land of opportunity for all people.”

Rev. Diane Faires of St. Paul's Christian Church said her church has seen a growing number of refugees who have fled harassment and violence in other countries.

"Many of them have been through horrific experiences, but they are amazingly resilient and courageous," Faires said in a statement. "We have been enriched by their presence and the new perspective they offer us."

Uniting NC is part of a national movement, led by the Atlanta-based group Welcoming America, that works to build understanding between natives and new immigrants. Uniting NC is one of 19 state affiliates working to build communities that provide fertile soil for all people to achieve their potential.

“Our goal is to invite people outside the polarized policy debate on immigration,” Chris Liu-Beers, Uniting NC's board chairman, said in a statement. “We want to help people see that immigrants are not frightening invaders. They are our neighbors. They are people with stories much like our own, who are trying to make a good life for themselves and their families. The fabric of our state is stronger when we engage with everyone in our communities to see the values that bring us together.”




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  • Rebelyell55 Dec 14, 2011

    There is an article on MSN new, where the Federal goverment is looking at installling unmanned boarder crossing. Told ya it would happen, but I really thought it would like 15 years down the road or more.

  • knic4 Dec 14, 2011

    Actually after all the hateful vile you posted -- We call it PROGRESS.

    What is so hateful about what userjm wrote? He speaks the truth. I am one of those Northeasterners who have moved to the south. The big difference between myself and the majority of those who have moved is I am a conservative and will work to preserve the south and it's people. Unlike people like you who wish to turn it into another northeast hellhole. You call that "progress"? I moved to get away from people like you.

  • rexosb Dec 14, 2011

    So, why is Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh in the middle of all this? Would he favor billboards all over Israel welcoming people whose ethnicity and beliefs are wildly different from the current inhabitants? I'll bet not.

    Does expressing this thought mean the smugly self-righteous will quickly condemm be as an ant-eye-see-mite?

    Yeah, I thought maybe it would.


  • jwood011 Dec 14, 2011

    It's not the immigrants causing problems - it's the illegal aliens who are here illegally, not paying taxes, etc. that we have a problem with. No free ride except back to the country you came from.

  • westernwake1 Dec 14, 2011

    "The destruction of Southern Culture & Bible Based people is genocide" - userjm143

    Actually after all the hateful vile you posted -- We call it PROGRESS.

  • userjm143 Dec 14, 2011

    Unfortunately, it's hard for N. Carolinians (from here) to get out due to overbuilding by public money. , Already the radical influx of Northeasterners has made Raleigh a violent, transient area where we would not raise children. The "slammer" says it all. It wasn't like this before.

    Population of Wake Forest doubled in 6 yrs, producing social incohesion, UGLY subdivisions (whether on land from Military seizure, s/a 43,000 acres taken in Butner, or Land Devaluations/"The Tobacco Acts" (that made NC's cash crop illegal & DEVALUED land for (so-called "development").

    Not about "legal or illegal." S. Americans are WELCOMED (by N.east people who pay to do it b/c they hate southerners & Bible Base) ---it's Ethnic Cleansing of traditional and historical peoples. If the Hollywood movies (often lies) don't convince you the real purpose is to destroy Southern culture, what would?

    Ethnic cleansing is ILLEGAL. The destruction of Southern Culture & Bible Based people is genocide

  • ronnyg0447 Dec 14, 2011

    It isn't about "immigrants". It's about ILLEGAL immigrants. Why is that so difficult for some people to understand. If you came to this country properly, by following the rules...WELCOME. Glad to have you here. If you entered the country illegaly, then you should be sent home. You should not be allowed to avail yourself of the benefits of citizenship granted to those who ARE here legally. No welfare, medicaid, SS or other social programs. Certainly no state tuition for advanced education.

  • not my real name Dec 14, 2011

    ummm dont we support immigrants enough already?

  • coolwill43 Dec 13, 2011

    If you are not legal in this country get out and take what is your with you. How can this country which has millions of it own citizens losing their homes making difficult choose in the medical needs, lost their status in the community and looking for jobs while people who are here in this country illegal get their jobs get government assistance while you don’t. I once thought I was middle class but with all the increases in every thing including government fees and taxes, I gaining less ground each year while other receive their illegal American dream. Take a look around America (look at down town Raleigh) who do you really see getting the jobs. Use your eyes! I’m just saying.

  • Mark Hayes Dec 13, 2011

    Question I have is who in our political arena is supporting this,beautifying our highways with propaganda that is no more than political propaganda approved by who I wonder,the roadways of North Carolna are no place to carry out this debate if so what and who next will use this as a battle ground for advocating their agenda, but hopefully there will be a non profit organization for us that appose,I certainly hope to donate to that cause.