On Sunday night members of the NAACP partnered with several Latino organizations in Raleigh for a truth and unity service in solidarity with the immigrant community. In a service held at the Fountain of Raleigh Fellowship, dozens discussed House Bill 318 and the struggles of Latino immigrants.
Martha Hernandez, who came to the U.S. from Mexico more than 25 years ago said “Now, as immigrants we feel like we are not welcome anymore here in the states.” Hernandez said she attended the service because she is fearful for her future in North Carolina.
In October, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a measure that prohibits any North Carolina county or municipality from restricting local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration officials. House Bill 318, dubbed the Protect North Carolina Workers Act, also requires state and local government agencies to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of job applicants and contractors, bars government agencies or law enforcement from using consular or embassy documents to verify someone’s identity or residence and limits food assistance for able-bodied, childless adults who are unemployed.
NAACP President Rev. William Barber said he denounces the bill. He said “We will not allow fear based manipulation to go unchallenged.”
Barber and others in attendance brought up past struggles of African Americans and compared that to the current issues facing refugees and immigrants today.
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