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NC ‘Sanctuary Cities’ threatened with loss of school, road funding

north carolinaIn late October 2015, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the “Protect North Carolina Workers Act,” requiring state and local governments to verify the immigration status of potential employees and to prohibit interference in the relationship of local law enforcement with federal agents investigating immigration violations. 

Targeted at cities that provide de facto havens for illegals, House Bill 318 has been met with open contempt and outright revolt in some cities, like Asheville, which unanimously passed a resolution in 2013 opposing “any efforts to transfer federal immigration responsibility to state and local officials, since these proposals tax our already overburdened police department and damage relationships with immigrant communities.”

That resolution was titled, simply, “Civil Liberties Resolution.”

On the evening of June 27, the internet was abuzz with chatter about the budget agreement reached in the NC General Assembly, which was announced by a press release emailed from the office of President Pro Tem of the Senate, Phil Berger, R-Eden, at 6:34 p.m.

But earlier in the day, the Senate had tentatively passed legislation that would punish — severely — cities that continue to disregard state and federal laws pertaining to illegal immigrants.

Citing concerns from law enforcement officials, the Senate created penalties for not using the mandated electronic verification for job applicants, prohibited the use of so-called “community IDs,” which are not issued by accepted authorities, and warned that “all public school building capital funding and Powell funding for city streets [will] be allocated to local governments that comply with the law.” 

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Governments that are found to have ignored state law “will forfeit those funds for the next fiscal year to those that are in compliance with the law.” 

In a joint statement issued by House Bill 100’s backers Senator Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, and Senator Buck Newton, R-Wilson, they cautioned that if local governments “abide by our federal and state immigration laws, they will have nothing to worry about.”

The press release issued from Berger’s office announcing the tentative measure was sent out at 5:49 p.m., just 45 minutes before the budget agreement was announced. Section III of the bill, which deals with the immigration laws, is titled “Creation of additional incentives for local governments to comply with state laws related to immigration.” 

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