Dozens march in Raleigh against 2 NC bills they say would hurt immigrants

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN0 — Nearly 100 people came together Saturday morning to rally outside of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association. 

The group is protesting two bills in the General Assembly that they say are a threat to all immigrant families.

 The group marched to the governor’s mansion. They are urging Governor Roy Cooper to take a stand against two bills. 

Members of the immigrant community say if the governor supports this legislation, he’ll be on the wrong side of history. 

“We know that we will be captive in a community that is hunting us and we don’t want that,” said Laura Garduno-Garcia, an organizer with Siembra NC.

She is urging Cooper to take a stand against the two bills.

“We don’t believe that he wants to be on that side of history, which is why we are here letting him know that we are here that we are taking up this fight that we want to protect and fight for our families, for our right to live in the homes that we have built, to raise our children without fear,” said Garduno-Garcia. 

House Bill 135 would no longer allow law enforcement officers to accept IDs created by organizations for immigrants with no state issued ID. 

The bill would also require the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to enter into an agreement with ICE to train state law enforcement officers to perform immigration law enforcement duties. 

“If law enforcement is working with immigration that’s another threat to our community,” said Juan Miranda, a community organizer with Siembra NC. “It’s very unlikely that they’re gonna contact them diving our families just because immigration but also creating threats to our families because we cannot rely on law enforcement.” 

The group is also protesting House Bill 370, which requires North Carolina sheriff offices to cooperate with ICE or face financial penalties. 

The group started their protest at the sheriff’s association because they say the group has openly offered their support for the bill. 

In a statement sent to CBS 17 last month, the sheriff’s association said: “The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association is opposed to illegal immigration and supports enforcement of the laws against illegal immigration. The Association would like to work with our legislators on acceptable solutions to address illegal immigration in the State. However, Edition 1 of House Bill 370 is not the appropriate method to address this very important issue.”

 CBS 17 reached out for comment, but we have not heard back. 

 Marian Abernathy is not an immigrant, but her mother came to America from Germany as a refugee in the 1930s.

“I think it’s really important that those of us who aren’t Latino show up and march together and stand together because we have to be united on this,” said Abernathy. “If it’s not me today it will be tomorrow where rights are being taken away from all of us.”

 CBS 17 reached out to Cooper’s office for a statement on the two bills, but so far we have not heard back.

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