Protesters hope to deter McCrory's participation in immigration lawsuit
Posted January 15, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — One day after the U.S. House voted to overturn President Barack Obama’s key immigration policies, dozens of people gathered outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh on Thursday to protest Gov. Pat McCrory’s participation in a lawsuit against the president’s efforts.
With Obama likely to veto any legislation killing his immigration plan and the House measure now going to the U.S. Senate, Wednesday’s vote will likely be symbolic.
But the lawsuit against the president’s policies, led by Texas Attorney General and Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, is moving forward.
North Carolina is one of 17 states represented in the suit, which asks for a judge to block Obama’s actions. Under an executive order announced Nov. 20, an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years are protected from deportation and will have a right to work.
The lawsuit alleges that Obama overreached his presidential powers, that the government didn’t follow proper rule-making procedures and that the order will "exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education."
The state of North Carolina is not officially a part of the suit, despite a letter from Lt. Gov. Dan Forest asking state Attorney General Roy Cooper to join it.
Those gathered outside McCrory's residence Thursday want the governor to withdraw his name from the suit.
"I used to think, 'Oh, I have no chance of getting into college,'" Jorge Ramos said. "I can't work, I can't drive, and because of (the executive order), I'm now able to get my driver's license and I'm able to work."
Debate over the immigration crisis picked up late last year when more than 52,000 children, some as young as 2, crossed into the United States from Mexico alone.
Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said he believes Congress should replace Obama’s action with another action, not repeal his policy.
“I think we have seen Congress going back on the issue of immigration for many years, and I really think it's time,” he said. “I think the public is hungry for the Congress to move forward on immigration, and I think continuing to debate the president's authority, whether this was a good political move or a bad political move, is a mistake.”
Those protesting believe beneficial immigration reform is possible.
"I believe there is hope," Jazmin Mendoza-Sosa said. "I believe that if we work together as a community and we educate each other."