North Carolina House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Delays Reform Until 2013

Dozens of people spoke out Wednesday in Raleigh on whether North Carolina should regulate immigration as state lawmakers consider how to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants.  The meeting lasted about two hours, during which pastors, immigrant-advocacy leaders, and unauthorized immigrants spoke. At the speaker’s stand, 27 of the 35 speakers praised what they see as the vital role that immigrants — including those who do not have legal permission to be in North Carolina — have had in building up the state’s economy.

The North Carolina House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy decided to delay consideration of comprehensive immigration legislation until 2013, putting to rest for now one of the most heated legislative issues this year. Representative Iler, a Republican committee co-chairman, said it seemed improbable that lawmakers would consider the matter in the short session that convenes in May. He also said lawmakers wanted to wait for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law before moving forward.  A decision on that case is expected in June.

The committee’s delay likely doesn’t mean other immigration legislation won’t get heard in the North Carolina Legislature this session. Two main bills are still pending. One measure that passed the House and sits in the Senate bans foreign consular documents as acceptable identification papers. And another Senate-approved bill, which awaits House action, reinforces current state law that illegal immigrants are not eligible for government benefits.

You can read more about the meeting here.

 

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