Under the Dome

Dome: NC leaders urge congressional delegation to back immigration overhaul

From staff reportsAugust 12, 2013 

A handful of prominent North Carolina business leaders and lawmakers are joining a national effort to urge the Republican Congress to support an immigration overhaul.

The letter – sent by major Republican donors such as Vice President Dan Quayle, Carlos Gutierrez, the commerce secretary under President George W. Bush, and Karl Rove – calls for “legal status” to those living in the country illegally.

In North Carolina, developer Judd Ammons, prominent farmer John Barnes, agribusiness leader Frank Granger and homebuilder Tim Minton joined Republican state Reps. Tom Murry of Morrisville and Tim Moffitt of Asheville in signing their names to the effort. The letter went to Republican U.S. representatives in the state’s delegation, including George Holding, Renee Ellmers and Richard Hudson.

“To fix our immigration system we need meaningful reforms that will (1) secure our borders, (2) provide a legal way for U.S.-based companies to hire the workers they need while making it impossible to hire workers here illegally, and (3) take control of our undocumented immigration problem by providing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who pay penalties and back taxes, pass criminal background checks, and go to the back of the line,” the letter states.

Foxx testing the waters?

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx will speak at a fundraiser for the Republican Women’s Club of Chapel Hill on Sunday in a move likely to spur speculation that she is testing the waters for a Senate race next year.

Foxx, a veteran lawmaker from Banner Elk who has been mentioned as a potential U.S. Senate candidate next year, will talk at a cookie-and-coffee affair at the Chapel Hill Country Club. The event, which costs $20 per person, begins at 3 p.m.

Polls have put Foxx at the top of the list of potential GOP challengers to Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Other Republican women, Rep. Renee Ellmers and state Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, have ruled out the race, but Foxx has not made any public comments in weeks.

Fjeld files for Coble’s seat

Laura Fjeld, a former high-ranking university official, has filed for the 6th District congressional seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Howard Coble of Greensboro.

Fjeld spent the past five years as vice president and general counsel for the 17-campus University of North Carolina system. Before that she worked for two major law firms.

In announcing her candidacy Fjeld said: “Throughout my thirty-two year career, I worked with large and small businesses that were creating jobs and growing out the state’s economy. Most recently, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to protect the quality of our state’s public universities for this and future generations.

“I have great optimism about our future in North Carolina, but partisan politics are toxic. I haven’t created the problems in Washington D.C. – but I will be part of the solution.”

Coble, 82, has had health issues recently, and has not said whether he will seek another term. A number of Republicans, including District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. – the son of the state Senate leader – have expressed an interest in running. Although Coble has held the seat since 1984, Republicans have made the district less GOP-leaning in an effort to create other Republican-leaning districts.

Fjeld lives in northern Orange County with her husband Jon Fjeld, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. They have five children.

Staff writers John Frank and Rob Christensen

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