NC Legislators' Immigration Race to the Bottom

The White House’s and Congress’ continued inaction on responsible immigration reform has led to disaster and crisis, for state governments, local officials, and families alike. But the most serious side effect of this egregious abdication of responsibility is the “open season” many politicians seem to have declared against hard-working immigrant families. In North Carolina, for example, a sheriff’s racist remarks in 2008, used to describe the Latino community during a news interview, resulted not in condemnation but instead praise and adoration. The elected official’s popularity spiked and a Facebook group seeking his re-election was created. Is this really the America we thought we knew?

The immigration crisis has been compounded in the absence of federal oversight as states have taken it upon themselves to institute new immigration laws, policies, and regulations. Last year Arizona passed SB1070 into law; it has since inspired over a dozen states to introduce (and some even passed) similar legislation. The North Carolina General Assembly hasn't yet advanced its own versions of Arizona's SB1070, but there are reasons for concern as state lawmakers here embark on a race to the bottom to out-do similar legislative initiatives like those in Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia.

Leaders in North Carolina General Assembly have formed the new Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy. Its co-chairmen, Rep. Frank Iler of Brunswick County and Rep. Harry Warren of Rowan County have made no qualms about their intentions. Iler recently told his local newspaper, "My personal opinion is that we need to make North Carolina as unwelcome for any illegal alien from wherever they come from."

News about this committee's genesis began to circulate within immigrant advocate circles just a few days after a federal judge's decision to uphold provisions of the most draconian state-level immigration laws, passed in Alabama earlier this year. Are these North Carolina legislators seeking to out-south Alabama, a state now in chaos as immigrant families are being persecuted by their state government and being denied even the most basic of human needs? Yes, in Alabama undocumented immigrants are being denied service by local water utilities, who claim they’re merely seeking compliance with their state’s new immigration law. Alabama elected officials have been transparent and even celebratory in the effects of their new immigration attrition law which has resulted in the undocumented community in that state self-deporting.

Iler’s recent interview raised several red flags, including that he and the co-chairman, Rep. Warren, held a private meeting to "discuss the mission" of the newly formed committee. Where is the transparency that the new Republican majority promised at the start of the 2011 legislative session? Also concerning is that these two legislators have been some of the staunchest supporters of anti-immigrant bills proposed in this year’s legislative session. One of the bills that they co-sponsored is HB11, a bill that would have denied access to higher education for undocumented students. Warren also co-sponsored HB 744, a bill that in its original version would have done part of what the new Alabama immigration law does-- require those tasked with educating the next generation to become de facto immigration agents and inquire into the legal status of public school children. The support these legislators and other committee members have given to some of the most violently anti-immigrant bills proposed in North Carolina is an indication of types of legislation they will likely pursue.

Rather than focusing on creating more challenges, these legislators should be working on creating solutions to joblessness in their counties and our state. Seeking immigration attrition legislation in hopes that it would subsequently create jobs for U.S. residents and citizens is baseless. In fact, we already know that Arizona's unemployment rate increased every month since SB1070 was signed into law, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Passing immigration attrition legislation at the state level does not create jobs and does nothing to solve the federal issue of immigration. Instead, such legislation only harms families and children.

I’m confident sensible North Carolinians – the majority, I’m sure – understand that ill-treatment of immigrants by way of hurtful language by politicians and punitive policies and legislation is dreadfully wrong and immoral. Silence in the face of such aggression and injustice implies consent. Though we don’t yet know what this new committee will prioritize, we do know the direction they’ll pursue – one that ultimately hurts families, business, education, and every infrastructure of our state. I encourage my fellow, well-meaning Tar Heels to speak out now before it is too late. We in North Carolina take pride in our progressive, fair-minded history. Our forward-thinking reputation has lent itself to growth here in business and education, as people from all over the world continue to travel to North Carolina for work and to learn at our world-class universities. Pursuing any type of restrictionist legislation that will target those with brown skin and foreign accents will do unimaginable damage to our great state, its business, its reputation and its dear people.


Thanks for posting this, Irene

I have a feeling the upcoming election season will be as bad (or worse) in the demonization of migrant workers as we've seen in the past.

Those who actually believe that stuff should ask themselves a few simple questions: How many Hispanic migrant workers have I met or come in contact with? How many of them are bad/dangerous/criminal people? The answers, if the questioner is honest with him/herself, are "A lot" and "Probably none".

The problem is, people rarely ask themselves questions they know will upset their prejudices.



Every jobless man and women should join the fight, to assure that Rep. Lamar Smith "THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT” passes. Some of the positive aspects are that it will determine who has a right to settle, work in the United States. E-Verify is part of the H.R. (H.R. 2885, Only the open border and special interests coalitions have an agenda to stop its passage and will not go down without a bitter battle. It is estimated that 8 to 9 million illegal aliens are lucratively employed in the United States and dependent territories, and need to be replaced by the growing ranks of unemployed legal workers.

Taking illegal aliens out of American jobs they don't deserve has never been popular with many in Congress. Its utterly disgusting that some Members of Congress –either Democrat or Republicans-- give enforcement measures like E-Verify lip service, but they can't be counted on to act when they have the chance. What we're now seeing with the House Ways and Means Committee sitting on H.R. 2885, Rep Lamar Smith's mandatory E-Verify bill? It sure looks that way to patriotic Americans, Multi-millions of TEA PARTY members. Every legal immigrant, whether Black, White, Hispanic, Latino, Asian of any race.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT A person’s ethnicity, as the special interests wishes you to perceive? It’s about saving the state of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, even Liberal California and Nevada—it’s about—ASTRONOMICAL--billions of dollars—IN YOUR MONEY—being extracted from you by the tax code to support people who have illegally homesteaded in this nation. It’s about overcrowded schools, closing hospitals and a clogged prison system.
Here are four quick facts from NumbersUSA, the pro-sovereignty website.

1) 22 million Americans cannot find a full-time job.

2) Chairman Lamar Smith's (R-TX) E-Verify bill, the Legal Workforce Act, will free up millions of these jobs for the legal workers who deserve them.

3) E-Verify have cleared its biggest single hurdle, when it passed (without crippling amendments!) through the House Judiciary Committee.

4) Now, the House Ways and Means Committee must either agree to the bill or just send it directly to the House Floor for action. If Ways and Means doesn't agree to H.R. 2885, the bill will probably go nowhere, that is----it will die.
5) President Obama’s “job act” that relates to “Construction” jobs must go to citizens and lawful residents. Other than U.S. farmers building Contractors and their sub-contractors are the worst perpetrators of hiring illegal aliens. Currently a third of US businesses and corporations are using E-Verify, to employ American job hunters. Prestigious skilled workers, should be given a high preference for a working visa, but—ECONOMIC—illegal aliens should not be accepted or tourists and other overstays who never return to birth place. A “Bracero” type program should be available for honest farmers, but with a tracking system so field labor returns home, when their visa expires.

The truth is, if Americans fail to get H.R. 2885 past the Ways and Means Committee, all the hard work this year will have been for nothing! NOTHING! We must get that committee to send this bill on to the Floor.

More about the Ways and Means Committee and E-Verify

You may ask, "Why does the Ways and Means Committee have jurisdiction over an immigration enforcement bill?. One of the greatest features of H.R. 2885 is the "No Match" letters to employers and the "Multiple Match" notices to employees.

These will identify illegal aliens using fictitious or stolen identities. They will lead to mass firings of illegal aliens who currently have jobs.

Both the "No Match" letters and the multiple match letters sections of H.R. 2885 are connected to the Social Security Administration. The House Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over those parts of the bill. If Chairman Lamar Smith is forced to strip out those provisions, MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS would have permanent access to jobs they have already gained illegally.


And why would the Ways and Means Committee be blocking this bill anyway? Do they have legitimate differences on policy issues? Is it out of spite or legislative turf protecting? Sure looks that way. Whatever the reason for them sitting on this bill, the result is millions of Americans left without work because illegal aliens are filling the jobs!

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE…are you content to see that happen? Let me ask it another way. Are you determined to get the ENTIRE E-VERIFY BILL, including the N0 MATCH AND MULTIPLE MATCH LETTERS, SIGNED INTO LAW?

Good. Me, too! At NumbersUSA, they are in total battle mode. They have the servers to send out free faxes like there is no tomorrow. They are pushing forward new technology to help in the effort. They are providing toll-free telephone numbers where we think they are needed. They are even advertising directly in the backyards of Members of Congress who carry the most weight on these decisions.

Study “ImmigrationCounters site for in depth details on illegal immigrations, such as statistics, jobs, Social Services and welfare and figures on incarcerations. REMEMBER THE CHIEF MAJORITY OF THE TEA PARTY, WILL NEGATE ANY CHANCE OF ANOTHER AMNESTY, OR ANY TYPE OF SHREWD ILLEGAL ALIEN CLEMENCY.

These reluctant politicians must be shown no peace, by our calls and free faxes, compliments of NumbersUSA. Contact Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH); House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA); House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ; House Chairman of Ways & Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI); & Members of the Ways & Means Committee. You can additionally contact your own local Senator or Representative or federal politician at 202-224-3121 and insist on E-Verify. NEBRASKA, Rep. Berg, Rick (GOP) (202-225-2611) ; NEBRASKA, Rep. Smith, Adrian (GOP) (202-225-6435); LOUISIANA, Rep. Boustany, Charles (GOP) (202-225-2031); MICHIGAN, Rep. Camp, Dave (GOP) (202-225-3561) & (202-225-2031); KENTUCKY, Rep. Davis, Geoff (GOP) (202-225-3465); PENNSYLVANIA, Rep. Gerlach, Jim (GOP)(202-225-4315); KANSAS, Rep. Jenkins, Lynn (GOP)(202-225-6601); MINNESOTA, Rep. Paulsen, Erik (GOP)(202-225-2871); WASHINGTON, Rep. Reichert, Dave (GOP) (202-225-7761); WISCONSIN, Rep. Ryan, Paul (GOP) (202-225-3031)


You can additionally contact your own local Senator or Representative or federal politician at 202-224-3121 and insist on E-Verify.

One Old Vet saying, “Stand next to me and you’ll never stand alone.”


Take it from somebody

who has a couple of decades of production management under his belt: This is a a crock:

Chairman Lamar Smith's (R-TX) E-Verify bill, the Legal Workforce Act, will free up millions of these jobs for the legal workers who deserve them.

Whether it's too low a wage, sporatic hours, extreme conditions, physically demanding, or dozens of other reasons, there are millions of jobs in this country that mainstream Americans simply won't do. Not for more than a day or two, anyway.

If our economy continues to go down the tubes, that may very well change in the next decade or two. But right now, that's a reality. And blaming migrant workers for whatever shortcomings our society has that would produce such a formula is wrong.