State Republican Party officials on Thursday pressed Attorney General Roy Cooper to publicly support banning “sanctuary cities” that limit enforcement of immigration laws.
A spokesman said Cooper will enforce the law, which is awaiting the governor’s signature.
The N.C. GOP is trying to put Cooper on the hot seat because he is expected to run against Gov. Pat McCrory next year. Dallas Woodhouse, executive director, said it’s appropriate to demand Cooper take a stand on a pressing issue of public policy, and noted that the attorney general has done so on other issues.
“The attorney general must end his silence and say where he stands,” Woodhouse said at a news conference in Raleigh in front of the Justice Department offices.
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Cooper’s campaign spokesman, Morgan Jackson, issued this response:
“The Attorney General will continue to enforce the law and assist local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute criminals regardless of who they are. It’s unfortunate that Gov. McCrory feels the need to manufacture an issue in an attempt to raise money for his re-election campaign.”
The legislature passed House Bill 318 along party lines and sent it to the governor on Sept. 30. McCrory hasn’t yet signed it into law but he is expected to: His office said Thursday he has a clear record of opposing sanctuary cities.
Earlier this week, McCrory’s campaign committee sent out a request for contributions in the face of “Hillary Clinton’s liberal attack machine,” saying: “I support ending sanctuary cities in North Carolina, because we should never give safe haven to people who break our laws, especially drug traffickers, human traffickers or violent criminals.”
Last week Hillary Clinton’s campaign criticized North Carolina’s proposed band on sanctuary cities.
Another provision in the bill limits the use of food stamps. The NAACP and the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus have asked McCrory to veto the bill.