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  • North Carolina Union Arguing Sanctuary City Ban Will Hurt Police, Workers

    The North Carolina State AFL-CIO condemned Gov. Pat McCrory Wednesday for signing a bill which bans sanctuary cities in the state.

    The union argues the Protect North Carolina Workers Act will actually hurt many workers in the state. The measure makes it much more difficult for illegal immigrants to find employment or get state benefits. The union says the measure will also put great strain on police and local governments. Supporters, however, say the measure will actually help police while protecting state residents.

    “Governor McCrory has signed a law, H.B. 318, that will starve people struggling to find work,” North Carolina State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan said in a statement. “[It] will make it harder for local police and local governments to protect and serve the public, and will make it easier than ever for criminals and unscrupulous employers to exploit immigrant workers.”

    Sanctuary cities have been the subject of national debate. The term applies to places which have enacted certain procedures that shelter illegal immigrants. The policy is troublesome to many because it allows such places to openly break the law and has in multiple instances caused the deaths of Americans.

    “Signing an abusive law dishonestly named the ‘Protect North Carolina Workers Act’ is proof for any voter who still needed it that their governor cannot be trusted to defend working people,” McMillan said in a statement.

    The law also bans residents from using IDs not issued by the government for legal purposes. Like the ban on sanctuary cities, the provision is designed to curtail activities by illegal immigrants. It is much easier for a legal immigrant or resident to obtain a government issued ID than it is for an illegal immigrant.

    McCrory says the measure is about upholding the law. He argues it will actually help the police by providing them the necessary tools to uphold the law. There have been several instances of illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities killing people. Kate Steinle was murdered in the sanctuary city of San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who was deported five times previously.

    Victor Aureliano Hernandez Ramirez and Jose Fernando Villagomez allegedly broke into the Santa Maria home of Marilyn Pharis July 24 to rape and murder her. Prior to the incident, Ramirez was arrested for assaulting a woman. Despite a request to take him into custody by the feds, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department released him.

    “North Carolina is standing up for the rule of law, which is central to North Carolina values and our country’s values,” McCrory said in a statement. “Public safety officials must have the flexibility and tools to investigate crimes and sanctuary city policies deprive law enforcement of those tools.”

    A bipartisan group of sheriffs and community leaders have backed the measure. Even members of the governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic and Latino Affairs has supported it.

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