A law that forbids any North Carolina county or city from hampering local law enforcement from working with federal immigration officials was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory.
“Each individual arriving here in a legal manner, following our laws, in search of a better life is a blessing to our state and to our country. We want to continue that strength of our great country, but in doing so, we must follow the law and not tie the hands of the men and women behind me,” McCrory said at the signing, held at the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re going to enforce the law and help our law enforcement officers protect our citizens.”
House Bill 318 expands E-verify legal status verification for employment, requirements for state labor contracts, consulate documents not an acceptable form of identification in the state to prove residency, but the section bans sanctuary cities and counties in the state drew the most attention.
The bill was drafted in response to the nationwide uproar after the murder of Kathryn Steinle, allegedly by an illegal immigrant whom had been deported multiple times. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national, who was released by San Franciscan authorities earlier this year, was arrested following 32-year-old Steinle’s shooting in the back at a San Francisco pier.
The Hispanic community came out against the bill, holding protests outside of the Governor’s Mansion.
McCrory decried sanctuary cities back in July at the annual North Carolina Sheriff’s Association training conference, saying “I don’t believe in the concept of sanctuary cites because every law enforcement officer is sworn to uphold not only the constitutional law of North Carolina but also the laws of the United States, and that includes immigration laws.”
He went on to say, “I don’t believe anyone should give sanctuary in any part of our state and nation where we are not enforcing the laws, especially toward people who continue to commit violent crimes. Right now we have major cartels in our state and I am going to expose those cartels that are involved in drug trafficking and human trafficking. We cannot allow any sanctuary for drug traffickers, human traffickers or violent criminals in our state.”
For more about sanctuary cities in North Carolina, click here.