The presidential campaign has put immigration at the center of controversy. With national figures attacking immigrants, it was expected that local officials would try to score points with voters by following suit.
There are new anti-immigrant measures proposed in a number of places around the country, but North Carolina appears to be the first state poised to enact a bill aimed at immigrants.
The North Carolina legislature passed a bill last week ordering government agencies to ignore identity documents issued by foreign consulates. These consular IDs are commonly used throughout the United States as identity documents for a variety of purposes. Police have welcomed them as a way of identifying people they may come into contact with. The bill would also prevent identification cards issued by local cities from being accepted.
In addition to denying the identities of undocumented immigrants, the proposed law prohibits “sanctuary cities” in the state. Practically, this requires local police departments to cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration laws. Such laws in the past have created walls of mistrust between immigrants and the police.
The bill will also impact on employers. Government contractors will have to participate in E-Verify in the future, as well.
The North Carolina governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
While there was a drop—off in state immigration laws in 2014, but they seem to be becoming popular again in the wake of Donald Trump’s run for president. Even here on Long Island, local politicians in Riverhead are looking at legislative changes to drive immigrants underground.