Welcome to Uniting NC’s new blog.
We will use this space to share immigration news, keep you updated about our work and let you know how you can help create a more respectful dialogue on immigration in North Carolina. We welcome your comments and participation, so please chime in. We want to hear from you.
Recent events around the country have reminded us why our work is so critical. In the space of two weeks:
- Vandals smeared refried bean swastikas on the Arizona state capitol after the governor signed a new law allowing police to detain and demand documentation of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Many minorities—recent immigrants or not—feel the law will single them out for harassment and profiling.
- A California congressman told supporters at a rally that he supports deporting the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, despite their U.S. citizenship.
- A congressional candidate in Iowa suggested that undocumented immigrants should be implanted with microchips. “I can microchip my dog so I can find it,” he said. “Why can’t I microchip an illegal?”
- A Texas congressman suggested that catching illegal border crossers was similar to catching stowaway grasshoppers in ships.
We have to believe that most people don’t support this kind of extreme rhetoric. Immigration is a complex issue, and dealing with the impact of immigrants on our country and our state will require a thoughtful and cooperative effort. We must recognize that, on both sides, this issue is about human beings. Angry public clashes, references to Hitler and comparisons of people to animals will only deepen the divides that keep us from making progress.
North Carolina has stayed out of the fray recently, but we have seen this kind of rhetoric before from our sheriffs and political candidates. And if immigration reform is taken up in Washington again this year, the nastiness is likely to ratchet up. Let’s work together to keep our state a place that respects all people.