Musings on Immigration

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Don’t bring the Arizona law to North Carolina

As Arizona implements their new immigration law (A.R.S. 13-1509), making it a federal misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a $100 fine, for failing to carry one’s “certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card”, other states have looked to replicate this law, namely North Carolina.

Senator Don East of Surry County, NC has introduced Senate Resolution 1349 which if approved, would require immigrants to carry proof of citizenship or an alien registration card. The problem with this law and with the Arizona law is that they both ignore the complexity of the every changing area of immigration law.

For example, if you are from Haiti and you were in the USA illegally you could have been arrested under this new law up until January of 2010. After the earthquake in Haiti all Haitians that were already here with no criminal records could apply for “Temporary Protected Status.” You could have been in the USA illegally one day and be completely legal the next all do to a devastating even that took place thousands of miles away…

Besides ignoring the fact that immigration law is constantly changing, this new law ignores the reality that it takes TIME for application to be processed. Even if you had applied for legal status with immigration it still takes them a few weeks, months or even years to make a decision.

You could be here completely legally and just because you have no evidence of your legal status you could be put in jail.

As a tax paying North Carolina resident I say leave the jail space for the murders and drug dealers. Don’t waste our tax dollars jailing people who will have evidence of their legal status just as soon as an immigration officer mails them their card.

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