The state would punish cities that declare themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants by withholding funding, under a bill that cleared a Senate committee on Tuesday.
Under the bill by Sen. Norm Sanderson, a Republican from Arapahoe, universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws would lose state funding. Cities and counties that don’t comply would lose revenue from the state such as for streets, beer and wine taxes, telecommunications taxes, sales taxes and taxes on natural gas.
The state passed a ban on sanctuary cities in 2015.
The ACLU spoke out against the bill because it would compel the UNC system to disclose to law enforcement students’ immigration status, which conflicts with federal privacy law; remove law enforcement’s ability to use identification from community programs to determine someone’s identity or residency; turn State Highway Patrol troopers into immigration officers; and require the attorney general to investigate complaints, including from anonymous tipsters.
“These extreme proposals would trample on the rights and well being of all community members, spread fear and confusion, waste countless government resources, and do nothing to make North Carolina safer,” Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.”
Sen. Jerry Tillman, a Republican from Archdale, said similar criticisms raised by Democrats on the Senate Judicary Committee come from those who oppose the bill and are “nitpicking.” He asked if opponents supported “a safe haven for criminals.”