RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is speaking out against a sweeping anti-immigrant bill that would jeopardize students, direct state police to enforce federal immigration law, and seek to punish local governments who enact their own policies related to immigration.
Senate Bill 145 was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee today and now heads to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee for consideration.
Among its provisions, Senate Bill 145 would
- Compel the University of North Carolina system to disclose the immigration status of students to law enforcement upon request, potentially forcing schools to violate privacy protections in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Remove the ability of local law enforcement to use local or community IDs to determine a person’s residency or identity
- Require the N.C. Department of Public Safety to enforce federal immigration laws through the 287(g) program, effectively turning Highway Patrol officers into immigration officials - the only such active statewide program in the U.S.
- Withhold a range of tax revenues from local governments that choose to limit their role in the enforcement of federal immigration law.
- Allow anonymous tipsters to claim that a local government is violating immigration laws, compelling the Attorney General’s office to dedicate resources to an investigation.
- Empower the Attorney General’s office to determine if a local government is in violation of immigration laws and cut off funding for transportation and other critical projects if a jurisdiction is found in violation.
“These extreme proposals would trample on the rights and wellbeing of all community members, spread fear and confusion, waste countless government resources, and do nothing to make North Carolina safer,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “This bill potentially violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution and could expose North Carolina to costly litigation. But more importantly, state lawmakers should not be in the business of telling local officials to target and single out undocumented North Carolinians who work, go to school, and contribute to our communities in countless ways.”