RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate today passed a sweeping anti-immigrant bill, SB145, that would direct state police to enforce federal immigration law, seek to punish local governments who enact their own policies related to immigration, and defund any UNC institution that limits its role in the enforcement of federal immigration law.
“Targeting and singling out undocumented North Carolinians who work, go to school, and contribute to our communities won’t make North Carolina safer, but it will spread fear and confusion while trampling on the rights of immigrants and non-immigrants alike,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “Local governments and the UNC system will needlessly suffer and could be exposed to costly litigation under this misguided proposal. We urge North Carolina House members to reject this bill.”
Among its provisions, Senate Bill 145 would
- Compel the University of North Carolina system to disclose the immigration status of students to law enforcement upon request, a practice that could violate privacy protections in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Remove the ability of local law enforcement to use local or community IDs to determine a person’s residency or identity
- Require the N.C. Department of Public Safety to enforce federal immigration laws through the 287(g) program, turning Highway Patrol officers into immigration agents and creating the only such statewide program
- Allow the state to withhold a range of tax revenues from local governments that choose to limit their role in the enforcement of federal immigration law.
- Empower the Attorney General’s office to determine if a local government is in violation of state immigration laws and cut off funding for transportation and other critical projects if a jurisdiction is found in violation.
- Allow anonymous tipsters to claim that a local government is violating immigration laws, compelling the Attorney General’s office to dedicate resources to an investigation.