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The anti immigrant group, NC Listen, made a call today, to all anti immigrant people in North Carolina, to mobilize tomorrow at 10 am at the General Assembly in Raleigh. The topic: HB786, which if approved as law, would grant driving permits to certain undocumented immigrants in our state.
The call to anti-immigrants by Director Ron Woodard states the following:
“The Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly just passed a bill out of the Judiciary committee to give illegal immigrants a driver’s license permit and the bill also guts our earlier E-Verify bill to protect jobs for citizens in North Carolina. I know it’s hard to believe but the state Republicans will make this actual law if we don’t stop them very soon.”
Right wing extremists like Ron Woodard are not putting the safety of North Carolina first. Their anti-immigrant rhetoric doesn’t move us forward. Undocumented immigrants are as much a part of North Carolina and it’s economy as he is.
There are many parts to this bill that are problematic. But things are already bad. Proof of this, are the families and individuals affected by deportation and the way they were put in deportation proceedings. Racism and discrimination already exist. The deportations for something as simple as not having a drivers license already exist. The separation of families by the detention and deportation of immigrants already exist. Immigrants with illnesses without access to to adequate medical care and treatment already exist. Things are already bad. The question is, are we willing to allow things to continue this way? Or do we want change?
We at the NC Dream Team want change and we will negotiate with Democrats and Republicans to achieve it.
One thing we do agree on with anti-immigrant and director of NC Listen, Ron Woodard, is that you should not wait for someone else to change things for you. You and I, undocumented and all, have a voice and have the power to change our situation. Change is in our hands. To start, sign the following petitions and help stop deportations. Today it is them, tomorrow it might be you.
Youth coordinator of Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, Fabiana Palomo, is currently detained in an immigration jail in Georgia. You can find more details about her case in the petition. If the federal government is so committed to immigration reform, why is Fabiana detained? Sign and Call!
Jose Guillermo fell into deportation proceedings after a minor car accident. The police asked for his license and since he didn’t have one, he was arrested and taken to jail. These are the consequences for not being able to obtain a driver’s license. His deportation is set for May 23rd. For him and all the cases that we’re unaware of, we are willing to negotiate with Republicans for driving permits, even if they have restrictions.
El Representante Cleveland del Condado de Onslow es el mismo legislador detras de la propuesta de ley en contra de la matricula consular y las propuestas de ley anti-inmigrantes del año pasado. Nosotros lo conocemos como “El Abuelo Cleveland” porque es un señor de edad avanzada que podria ser abuelo de todos nosotros en el NC Dream Team. Y al parecer, es un señor que todavia no reconoce que Carolina del Norte no es el mismo estado que era hace veinte años.
La propuesta de ley HB 218 es una propuesta para prohibirnos acceso a los colegios y universidades a nosotros los jovenes indocumentados en Carolina del Norte. Es muy probable que no pase a ser ley esta propuesta. Pero es importante saber quienes son aliados de la comunidad inmigrante y quienes no. Al igual que nuestro Sub Gobernador Dan Forest, el Representante Cleveland no es un aliado.
José Rico (919) 802-0508
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cowards in the General Assembly Propose Bill Attacking Children
NC DREAM Team vows to stop the attacks on undocumented youth
RALEIGH, NC—Although not a single “restrictionist” bill in the General Assembly has addressed the biggest employers of undocumented immigrants in the state—state farms—several bills have attacked school children and college students. By proposing HB 744, a bill that would force students to reveal their status to school officials, North Carolina legislators are telling undocumented immigrants working and living in our state that they are good enough to pick its residents’ food, but not good enough to sit next to them in class.
“Our communities are under attack,” said Viridiana Martinez, an undocumented immigrant who has been an active fighter for immigrant rights. “We will expose this nasty bill and everyone behind it.”
Anti-immigrant groups frequently lament the 1982 Supreme Court decision of Plyler V. Doe, which protects the right of undocumented students to attend public education through high school. However, legislators in the segregationist South have begun to find new ways to direct their prejudice at school children. The Alabama State Senate passed a bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from attending extracurricular activities like prom and afterschool sports. NC Republicans also refused to make an exception in the Matricula Consular bill, HB 33, for educators to accept the Matricula to identify the parents of children at the school, both citizen and non-citizen.
Earlier this month, US Department of Education had to remind school districts of their obligation to provide an equal education to undocumented immigrant children. The DOE released a letter (co-signed by the Department of Justice) stating that “Recently, we have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, or students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status. These practices contravene Federal law.”
Requiring children to register their immigration status with their schools will inevitably result in discrimination, harassment or exclusion. Plain and simple, the legislators who support these bills are unprincipled cowards.
By Emily Cabaniss and Justin Valas
As mentioned in the previous post, the dangers of coming out in rural North Carolina are all too real. Last week at the Lexington Multicultural Festival, four undocumented youth resisted the factors that push back on their ability to have a normal future in the place they call home- they came out of the shadows in a very public place.
Judging by the double-takes that the randomly passing police officers gave us, our booth clearly stood out from the rest of the crowd:
Over the course of the day, dozens of people stopped by our booth to express their support and solidarity. Of those dozens, four youth experienced something very different and left with a subtly defiant glow of confidence in their eyes.
One young woman told me that she had graduated from high school last year and was still wondering what is next. “I want to get into community college, I want to study early childhood education and teach young children.” The only frustration was continued confusion over whether she could get into school (let alone the abusive registration process), and obvious concerns about how to finance the out-of-state tuition she would surely be charged….
A couple of other youth, dressed in the crisp fatigues of JROTC, casually picking up our materials asked about what we do. Nonchalantly, one of the two let it drop that as an undocumented High School senior they were wondering what came next.
Another youth stood and conversed with me at length about the importance of the DREAM Act, and the importance of working to safeguard the rights and futures of undocumented youth. Suddenly, she switched over to Spanish and told me “Soy una de esos estudiantes (I am one of those students).” She went on to tell me about how she had been accepted to college with a generous scholarship package and how much she wanted to share that knowledge with others.
A future child educator. JROTC youth. A student who merited a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious university. These are some of the stories of undocumented youth in rural North Carolina, who are impacted by the anti-immigrant bills in the NC General Assembly. These are some of the youth whose futures are put on hold as Senator Kay Hagan refuses to support the DREAM Act.
As an ally, I felt amazed and inspired by these youth. Full of energy, they had the courage to approach a stranger and shared both their status and desires for the future in a rural county known for its anti-immigrant tendencies.
If there is one thing that I have learned from the past year of our activism in NC and across the country, it is this:
Empowerment is contagious.
How will you use yours?
Everyone should feel free to contact your local Representative and Senator in NC (find yours here), and tell them that you expect them to oppose all anti-immigrant legislation in the General Assembly. You can also urge your Representative and Senators in DC (find yours here) to co-sponsor and support the DREAM Act.
According to Immigration Clearing House, Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) upbraided the President of the nativist Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) for sending an email to all of the members of the General Assembly which described those who voted against HB 33 as traitors.
“This e-mail is ugly and it is hateful and it is vicious and it is despicable against two extraordinary honorable members of this body who I have a great and deep respect for not to mention all the members on this side.”
Read it all here