A bill filed in the North Carolina Senate Tuesday would create penalties for local governments that continue to act as ‘sanctuary cities’ by ignoring federal and state laws against illegal immigration.
Last year, the General Assembly passed a law to prevent counties and cities from enacting ordinances that violate or fail to enforce federal immigration laws. But since the law went into effect, several law enforcement officials have contacted lawmakers to raise concern that some local governments are not complying with the law. So Sen. Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico) and Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson) filed legislation to:
- Empower the state attorney general to accept, maintain records of and investigate complaints from citizens who suspect a local government or local law enforcement agency is ignoring the law and report quarterly to the legislature on the findings;
- Direct that all public school building capital funding and Powell funding for city streets be allocated to local governments that comply with the law. Local governments found to have chosen to violate state immigration law will forfeit those funds for the next fiscal year to those in compliance with the law.
- Create uniform penalties for E-Verify violations; and
- Prohibit the use of “community IDs” which are often issued by private organizations to illegal immigrants lacking proper documents. This can mislead law enforcement by giving an appearance of legal status.
Below is a joint statement from Sens. Norman Sanderson and Buck Newton:
“It’s just plain common sense that cities and counties ought to be enforcing federal and state immigration laws and not harboring illegal aliens at the potential expense of their own citizens’ safety. Hopefully this bill will provide some extra incentive for local officials to do the right thing.”