NC’s new immigration bill
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –A bill, filed Wednesday by four House Republicans would extend driving privileges to people living in North Carolina illegally.
While some immigration activist see it as a step forward, they believe details in the bill allow for racial profiling.
“I feel like we need a driver’s license. At what cost,” said local immigration activist Moises Serrano.
He has been pushing for new laws that would allow those who live in North Carolina illegally to obtain a driver’s license, but questions the “show me your papers” provision which would authorize law enforcement to check the legal status of people pulled over for routine traffic stops.
“It doesn’t make it law for a police officer to investigate your statues but leaves it open if there is justifiable cause for them to question them about your legal statue,” Serrano said.
The ACLU argues the bill, as a whole, sanctions racial profiling and makes the penalties against one group tougher.
NC Listen, a conservative immigration reform group, said in a statement that the law simply makes “it easier for an illegal immigrant to get to a job that should go to a citizen.”
It’s estimated 325,000 immigrants, living in the country without permission, live in North Carolina.
The proposed legislation has a long way to go and tweaking before it becomes law and local immigration activist hope Latinos will be a part of the conversation.