Immigration Enforcement

Bill Graham, Candidate for North Carolina Governor speaks to bloggers

By NC Voice
http://www.ncvoice.info/
January 15, 2008

North Carolina Governor candidate Bill Graham ( http://graham2008.com/ ) took time to speak with several bloggers about issues facing North Carolinians. NC Voice was invited to participate in the conference call.

We expected a political speech, but instead he opened the meeting by asking us for questions. “When I am elected, there will be weekly conference calls with constituent groups throughout the state”, Mr. Graham states.

Most of the questions are about illegal immigration. An issue he is very clear about.

  • The 287(g) program should be expanded beyond sheriff’s departments; to all levels of law enforcement, including local police and DMV.
  • Allowing illegal aliens into our college system takes seats away from North Carolinian students and workers that need training
  • Certainly supports foreign students with valid visa’s; students that overstay their visa’s should be sent home
  • Support the needs of farmers who need workers, but they need to obey the rules — need to get back to the days where the workers come and do the work and then leave to go home when they are done

We had an opportunity to ask about the work NC Voice is doing:

“NC Voice has investigated construction and services businesses in Alamance county and has found over 40 that do not hold privilege licenses, do not withhold employment taxes, and do not list business assets for taxes. The State Attorney General’s office has not helped with the investigation. Local government has provided very little help. As Governor, is this something Mr. Graham would be able to help with? Would he support something similar to the employer workforce accountability program in Missouri ( https://www.ago.mo.gov/cgi-bin/forms/employer_workforce_accountability.cgi )?”

The answer was “absolutely I would help”. He has several businesses and doesn’t want other businesses to gain an illegal or improper advantage. Again, it is viewed as clearcut right or wrong type of issue.

“The department of revenue should be able to handle” with current laws and if they are not, someone should “go have a fireside chat with them”. Mr. Graham would employ every “ways and means available to make the illegal businesses comply”.

We want to thank Mr. Graham and his staff for inviting us. We welcome the opportunity to speak with candidates about illegal immigration and the effects it has on our community.

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January 26, 2008 Posted by | bill graham for governor, nc voice, north carolina, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

2008 North Carolina immigration law changes — Jailers required to check immigration status

By GARY D. ROBERTSON

Associated Press Writer

North Carolina political candidates must disclose their criminal pasts, and sheriff’s offices are required to check the immigration status of people jailed on felony charges under dozens of new laws that take effect on New Year’s Day.

The Legislature also agreed to order sheriffs and other jail administrators to determine whether someone charged with a felony or accused of driving while impaired is a legal U.S. resident. The jailer would ask the federal government for assistance if the person’s legal status can’t be determined.

When an illegal immigrant is charged with these kinds of crimes, “we want to do whatever we can to have them deported,” Sen. Julia Boseman, D-New Hanover, the primary sponsor of the bill, said Monday.

More…

January 7, 2008 Posted by | north carolina, Uncategorized, united states | , , , | Leave a comment

Hispanic births reach 50% at UNC Hospitals in North Carolina

Jan 2, 2008

CHAPEL HILL — By On the fifth floor of the N.C. Women’s Hospital, high above the streets of Chapel Hill, is a window on the state’s future.

Behind a thick pane of glass — inside the nursery of the maternity ward — sleep tomorrow’s Tar Heels, wrapped in blankets and tucked safely in plastic bassinets.

And, on most days, about half of these babies are Hispanic.

More…

January 7, 2008 Posted by | north carolina, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Why enable illegal activity?

Richard Stevens is a Republican state senator from Cary. He opposes allowing illegal immigrants admission to community colleges and universities. He responded to several of the arguments that proponents make for giving illegal immigrants access to higher education.

IN GENERAL:

“The key word in all of this discussion and debate, which folks seem to be forgetting, is ‘illegal.’ It is against the law for them to be in our country. Americans don’t get free tuition when we travel in other countries. Why should we build a reward system that encourages illegal activity? We need to fix our immigration policy. Let’s bring people here legally, and then we’ll address all the problems. We’ve been a generous nation for centuries, but we’ve done it legally. … We’re trying to fix things in a piecemeal way at the state level, and that’s not going to work.”

ON COMPETITION:

“We have a waiting list of North Carolinians, taxpayers, who would like to go to our community colleges, and they can’t. We’ve got North Carolinians who want to send their children to UNC-Chapel Hill, and they get denied. Every seat that is given to an illegal immigrant is taking the seat from a North Carolinian who is a taxpayer, and that is wrong.”

“Competition is fine, and immigration is fine. Our country was built on immigration. The key difference here is that we’re talking about people in this country illegally.”

ON THE BENEFITS OF EDUCATION:

“How are they going to get a job? It’s illegal to get a job if they don’t have legal status. Go look at our university system. There’s a very elaborate process to verify citizenship to become an employee. We’re training people for what? Jobs they can’t get. We’re building false hope.”

ON THE ARGUMENT THAT CHILDREN WHO COME ILLEGALLY WITH THEIR PARENTS SHOULDN’T BE PUNISHED:

“By the time they go to the university, they’re adults. They’re still illegal, and now they’re an adult illegal.” Stevens said they should return to their home countries.

ON THE ASSERTION THAT OUT-OF-STATE TUITION MORE THAN COVERS THE COST OF A STUDENT’S EDUCATION:

“County taxpayers pay for the buildings. Tuition doesn’t cover the cost of those buildings. Look at the total cost of the education, not just the instructional cost. Look at the buildings, the overhead costs of the programs, the operating costs. Even out-of-state people are subsidized”

ON THE UNC SYSTEM’S STUDY:

“I can’t imagine, in my wildest imagination, the General Assembly of this state passing a bill to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. So if you’re going to do a study and you know the outcome, you’re wasting your time, in my opinion.”

ON PUBLIC REACTION:

“Young people right now are applying to colleges in this state. Here’s a parent who has been paying taxes in this state for years, and the spot their child would like to take is going to be taken by someone who’s here illegally. And then we’re suggesting subsidizing that? It angers people.”

 

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner. Link…

December 25, 2007 Posted by | north carolina | , , | Leave a comment

NC Voice Challenges county commissioners to solve problem of illegal alien contractors

By TOMAS MURAWSKI
Staff Writer-Alamance News
December 20, 2007

An argument over unreturned phone calls has driven a wedge between county officials who oppose illegal immigration and a like minded activist group with concerns about businesses that it says operate in the county illegally.

NC Voice, which formed over the summer in response to the immigration debate, has denounced the county for its alleged unresponsiveness to a request that it recently made for a meeting with the county commissioners.

The group, which is based in Swepsonville, approached the commissioners two weeks ago to announce that its members have dug up numerous violations of tax and licensure rules, which the group says a number of businesses are committing right under the noses of county officials.

Mike Kelley, a spokesman for NC Voice, asked the commissioners for a private meeting so he could show them evidence of violations that he said his group has uncovered. Several of the commissioners said at the meeting that they’d gladly meet with the group, although Kelley insists that he hasn’t heard back from anyone on the county’s governing board.

“It implies that they’re sandbagging us,” Kelley explained in an interview. “I think two weeks was quite enough time to give them an opportunity to contact us.”

Kelley has posted a stinging indictment of the county on his organization’s website. His post is especially critical of Alamance County’s manager, David I. Smith, who apparently declined to arrange a meeting between Kelley and the commissioners.

Kelley’s online rebuke hasn’t won him much sympathy from one commissioner who has been particularly outspoken on the issue of the illegal immigration.

Commissioner Tim Sutton excoriated the group’s spokesman for attack on the county as well as his expectation that the commissioners would meet with him before he disclosed any of the evidence that NC Voice has collected.

“We’re playing childish games here,” Sutton said in an interview. “He’s trying to portray us as not being forthright enough. I don’t think he understands the process.”

Kelley was more optimistic about the county’s interest two weeks ago when he appeared at a commissioners’ meeting with his request. Kelley told the commissioners that his group had found numerous businesses that weren’t licensed or properly listed for tax purposes. He told them that he had already brought these findings to the attention of federal officials, who advised him to share the information with local government leaders and return to them if nothing happened within 7 to 10 days.

Kelley’s request got an immediate response from commissioner Bill Lashley, who publicly announced that he wanted to hear what the group had to say. Kelley said he was later approached by commissioner Ann Vaughan, who also seemed interested in his information. The commissioners instructed Kelley to give his contact information to Alamance County’s manager, David I. Smith, who Kelley said was supposed to get back with him and set up a meeting.

Kelley said that he didn’t hear from the county manager for more than a week, and when Smith finally did call him, he declined to let the group’s spokesman meet with the commissioners in private. Kelley said he was informed that the commissioners couldn’t see him behind closed doors because it would violate the state’s Open Meetings Law.

The group’s spokesman added that the county manager was skeptical the group’s information was even within the county’s jurisdiction.

“He said it was a municipal matter,” Kelley said in an interview. “It just seems like an endless circle with everyone pointing at everyone else, and they’re not doing anything. So, we’re closing the loop.”

Kelley said that the county manager told him he’d share his contact information with the commissioners, who were welcome to speak with him if they wanted. The group’s spokesman said that he never heard from anyone on the county’s governing board. He added that he tried to contact the commissioners himself but never got past their answering machines. He acknowledged that he didn’t bother to leave any messages for the commissioners.

Smith couldn’t be reached for a comment before press time this week. But Sutton said he has already discussed NC Voice’s concerns with the county manager, and he said that Smith couldn’t respond to Kelley’s concerns because Kelley wouldn’t reveal any specifics about the information his group has collected.

“We’ve asked for that information repeatedly, and he did not provide it,” the commissioner said. “My advise would be to give this information to Clyde Albright, the assistant county attorney, and see if there’s anything he can do.”

Sutton said that he asked to see the group’s information long before Kelley approached the commissioners two weeks ago. He added that he and Kelley spoke shortly after NC Voice formed over the summer, although he said that he and the group’s spokesman have since had a falling out. Sutton acknowledged that he never called Kelley after Smith gave the resident’s contact information to the commissioners.

Kelley said that he is reluctant to distribute this information too widely because it includes serious allegations, which he and the group’s other members are still trying to corroborate.

Kelley said that NC Voice has evidence that about 70 businesses are operating without privilege licenses or tax listings and some even lack personal tax listings in Alamance County. He added that some of these businesses have nothing to do with illegal immigrants, although he added that others appear to serve or belong to people who are in this country illegally.

Kelley declined to provide any details about these businesses to The Alamance News. He said that much of this data was obtained over the phone from local government offices, and he added that he and the group’s other members are now trying to validate that the reports are, in fact, accurate. He said that the information will be made public as soon as the vetting is over.

Kelley said that he’d like to provide this information to the commissioners in an open meeting but said he’s uncomfortable releasing the names of the companies at this time. Even so, he said that he’d still like to get a response from someone within the county government.

“We’re not attacking the commissioners on this issue,” the group’s spokesman said; “we just want to be heard as citizens of the county.”

As most folks familiar with this type situation are already aware, when confronted in one locality with potential discovery and arrest, the perpetrators simply pick up and move to a new community, stick a new magnetic sign on the truck, print up a few business cards and they are back in business! We did not want to simply send our problems to our neighbors, we wanted to solve them. The information I was given growing up led me to believe that was why we elected leadership in the first place, but as Mr. Sutton so eloquently stated, “I don’t think he (me) understands the process”.

Alamance County officials are very proud of their 287g program, and rightly so. Believing however that the 287g program is an end-all do-all is a fallacy; the truth is that you have to arrest before you can identify and deport. We were hoping that tax evasion and fraud were grounds for arrest, but It’s starting to look like those laws only apply to lawful citizens.

I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “If that were me doing that I’d have been arrested long ago!” One businessman told me he was late filing a tax form on his business because it was apparently lost in the mail and he almost got arrested and closed down. Don’t guess I need to tell you how mad he is over this, and I imagine the city and county officials will be getting a little feedback from him and a few others.

I’m a little confused about Commissioner Sutton being quoted as having asked for the information repeatedly but that I did not provide it. By his own admission he has not even spoken to me since August, and we didn’t even have the information collected at that time. I suppose he may have solicited it from another group member, but they were all advised to keep the information confidential until such time as we received a reply from the Feds. We didn’t want to interfere with any investigation they may have begun, and frankly it seemed pretty obvious no one in local government was motivated to action in spite of TV coverage, a large group of protesters, William Gheen, and Ron Woodard shouting at them from the Courthouse steps on a Saturday afternoon in August!

By the way, that was the bone of contention that Mr. Sutton referred to as a “falling out”. I’ll show him more courtesy than he offered in his last interview and forego any direct quotes at this time, but I assure you he was more polite to the Burlington Police Chief recently than he was to me when he found out ALIPAC would be represented at the August Rally.

I’ll also say that I have been severely criticized for “ruffling some feathers” locally, but I though it a courtesy to “ruffle” them now, rather than watch them “plucked” later. We have a majority on the Board of Commissioners coming up for re-election in 2008 and I think it a disservice to their distinguished record to be shooed away from dealing with this thorny issue by Mr. Sutton or Mr. Smith. I still hope to hear from some of them in order to move forward on this and other issues, and my understanding is that there are a few other citizens organizing locally as well with some questions of their own.

All the citizens of Alamance County deserve the support of their government, and we can’t all squeeze into gated communities, West Burlington, or the growing Mebane metropolitan area as our smaller bedroom communities become less clean, less safe, and less marketable. Hard times require hard choices, and I think most working folks recognize that hard times are upon us. Let’s all agree that there is a growing problem, and put our heads together to solve it.

http://www.ncvoice.info/ 

December 22, 2007 Posted by | alamance, nc voice, north carolina | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alamance officials refuse to enforce laws to drive out illegal alien businesses

December 19, 2007

ON Tuesday December 11, 2007 NC Voice was contacted by Alamance County Commissioner David Smith in regards to a prior commitment December 3rd by County Commissioners Lashley and Vaughn to meet with us. The discussion focused on our formal request to present to the Commissioners details of our informal investigation into complaints of a large number of alleged unlicensed businesses operating within the county.

Evidence was easily uncovered that supported claims of over seventy(70) businesses operating locally, doing business with no privilege license, no business tax listing, and in many cases the individuals did not even have personal tax listings on file in Alamance County.

Although County Manager Smith was advised of the content of our intended disclosure, he declined to schedule a meeting with Commissioners stating, “The county is currently doing all it can on this issue. We are restricted by state and federal laws defining our actions. There will be no meeting scheduled, however those Commissioners who are interested could certainly contact you (NC Voice) on their own as citizens. I will see that they get your contact information.”

A brief discussion with Thomas Murawski at the Alamance News earlier in the morning revealed that Commissioner Sutton had also expressed to him an interest in seeing our data, but to date no Commissioner has come forward expressing any interest.

Currently, we are preparing similar presentations for the cities of Burlington, Graham, and Mebane. They will be delivered to officials of those municipalities as soon as they are completed, certainly no later than early January. Meantime, we encourage Alamance County residents to reach out to your elected officials and ask them to look into the matter. The craftsmen and laborers being put out of business are your friends and neighbors, and the tax revenues being lost are made up from your wages. Isn’t it time you spoke out with your NC Voice? Link…

December 19, 2007 Posted by | alamance, north carolina | , , | Leave a comment

Immigration: The New Third Rail of American Politics

Immigration is the new “third rail” of American politics. I know, because I remember the old third rail. The old third rail, of course, was Social Security. Touch it, and die politically.

Back in the eighties the Republican Party would routinely come up with plans in Congress to “reform” Social Security.

Like clockwork — when the next Congressional election came around — the Democratic Party led by then Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’ Neil would demagogue the issue; and pronounce with TV ads that Republicans wanted to privatize Social Security and, by the way, cut or eliminate grandma’s benefit check.

Now, it’s the Democrats’ turn to touch the new third rail, immigration. It’s happening to the Democrats nationally, and it’s happening to them here in North Carolina…

Congressional republican incumbents were forced to play “defense”; as the late Lee Atwater used to say, “If you’re defending in campaigns — you’re losing!” Read More…

December 13, 2007 Posted by | north carolina, Uncategorized, united states | , , | Leave a comment

Sheriff heralds 287(g) program, says gang activity down

By Tomas Murawski
Staff WriterAlamance News
December 6, 2007

County officials are heralding the success of a program that trains sheriff’s deputies to arrest and process illegal immigrants under federal supervision.

The sheriff and others familiar with this program, which is known as Section 287 (g), insist that it has reduced some violent crimes by as much as 50 percent, and the sheriff credits it with a decrease in gang activity within unincorporated parts of the county.

But the members of one local group are emphatic that the county isn’t doing enough to crack down on illegal immigrants, and they insist that they have the documentation to show what the county has missed in its zeal to deal with immigrants who are suspected of other crimes.

Earlier this week, members of NC Voice, a grassroots group that formed over the summer, approached the county commissioners to inform them about what they say is a pervasive problem with illegal businesses that cater to immigrants, and especially those of Hispanic descent.

“There is a broad spectrum of violations here,” Mike Kelley, a spokesman for the group, told the commissioners on Monday. “We have come to the commissioners because there are a number of businesses operating in Alamance County that are operating without privilege licenses and are not subject to taxation.”

Kelley said that he and his colleagues reached this conclusion after they dug through tax records and other public documents that the county has on file.

Kelley told The Alamance News that he won’t provide any specifics about this investigation to the public until he’s able to share them with the commissioners.

“I will say that a number of state and federal agencies have been contacted regarding our findings,” Kelley elaborated in an interview. “We were specifically advised by federal officials to bring the matter to the attention of local government leaders and were told that if our concerns were not addressed within 7 to 10 days to notify the federal officials, and they would at that time intervene.”

Kelley said that the group’s inquiry initially focused on businesses that employ, or are owned by, illegal immigrants. Kelley added, however, that the investigation revealed violations at a number of businesses that have nothing to do with illegal immigrants. The group’s spokesman wouldn’t say how many businesses were implicated in the inquiry, although he acknowledged that it was “a shockingly large number.”

Kelley asked the commissioners to meet with him and the group’s other members to discuss the organization’s concerns, and some of the commissioners were eager to take him up on the offer.

“I for one would like to meet with them,” said commissioner Bill Lashley. “I would like to know what they have to say.”

Commissioner Tim Sutton also said that he’d like to meet with the group, although he added that he’s not sure the organization appreciates what the county has already done about illegal immigration.

Sutton was instrumental in the county’s decision to sign onto the Section 287(g) program, which is sponsored by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The commissioner began pushing the program long before the county launched it in February, and Sutton is quick to point out that Alamance County was one of the first places in the United States that obtained the program’s special enforcement authority.

“Out of some 3,700 counties, we were 12th”, Sutton said that Monday’s commissioners meeting, “and that’s impressive.”

Section 287(g), which is named after the relevant portion of a federal act that created the program, allows certain specially-trained deputies to identify, charge, and process people for immigration violations once they’ve been brought tp the county jail for other unrelated offenses. The sheriff’s department detains many of these individuals once they’ve been charged, although it also houses many illegal immigrants through a separate detention program that allows the federal government to lease bed space for out-of-county inmates in the county jail.

The sheriff’s department reports that, as of last week, it processed a total of 368 people for immigration violations through Section 287(g). Randy Jones, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, pointed out that some of these inmates may not have been local because federal agents are known to haul in suspects from other areas for processing. Even so, the department insists that the program has helped weed out the criminal element within Alamance County’s immigrant community.

Sheriff Terry Johnson told the commissioners that the county has seen a precipitous drop in many violent crimes since Section 287(g) went into effect.

“It’s shocking,” Johnson told the commissioners on Monday. “it’s telling me that the individuals who are breaking the law are leaving the county.”

Johnson said that, according to the department’s latest figures, rates for most of the “index” crimes that the department tracks have gone down during the eight months between February and September of this year as compared with the same period last year.

Johnson told the commissioners that the department has witnessed 38 percent fewer rapes and 29 percent fewer armed robberies during this year’s eight-month period. He acknowledged that break-ins have gone up about 11 percent, although he attributed the increase to the illegal drug trade rather than crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Johnson also told the commissioners that the county has seen a drop in gang-related activity since it implemented Section 287(g).

“Our gang problem in the county has gone down,” the sheriff said Monday. “I can tell you it’s gone down in the county.”

http://www.ncvoice.info/localnews.html

December 11, 2007 Posted by | alamance, north carolina | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fact Sheet: N.C. Community Colleges and Immigration

On November 7, 2007, a memo from the Office of Legal Affairs of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCS) was issued to community college presidents, deans, and admissions officers directing that all community “colleges should immediately begin admitting undocumented individuals.”

  • The new policy reverses an August 2004 directive from the same office that said, “Undocumented immigrant admissions shall be at the discretion of the local institution as long as the policies and practices are consistent with the provisions of the federal and state laws and regulations in Title 23 of the North Carolina Administrative Code.”
  • The directive, based on a 1997 advisory opinion by then-Attorney General Mike Easley’s office, says community colleges cannot “impose nonacademic requirements on admissions to its programs.” Based on this opinion, NCCS concluded that immigration status is a nonacademic requirement and should have no bearing on whether a student can attend any of the state’s 58 community colleges.
  • The directive was apparently issued in response to a complaint by a student enrolled in the hybrid high school/college program, Learn and Earn. The program permits North Carolina high school students to concurrently enroll in classes in the University of North Carolina or N.C. Community College systems while taking high school courses in an integrated program on a college campus. Students do not pay tuition for the college classes, and they can earn an associate’s degree or two years of transferable credit with just one additional year of school.
  • The advisory opinion issued by the attorney general carries no legal standing. Courts of law are free to consider or ignore advisory opinions. The General Assembly of North Carolina is also free to pass legislation that would nullify this opinion (cf. HB 409 and HB 164).

WHY ADMITTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES IS BAD PUBLIC POLICY

According to preliminary estimates, this new policy will cost North Carolina taxpayers between $6 million and $8 million. As the program expands, costs will increase.

  • This new policy – in violation of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act – encourages and induces illegal immigration by providing illegal immigrants with a taxpayer-subsidized education. By preparing illegal immigrants to enter North Carolina’s workforce, this new policy also ignores the fact that under the Immigration and Nationality Act it is illegal to employ an illegal alien.
  • This directive asks taxpayers to subsidize the education of undocumented aliens who are not in the country legally and cannot legally work in North Carolina or in the United States.
  • Illegal immigrants will be assessed out-of-state tuition. On average, out-of-state tuition covers only 50 percent to 70 percent of the total costs of education.
  • Alternative figures released by the community college system regarding the costs to educate an out-of-state student do not include capital costs. According to the North Carolina Community College System Fact Book, tuition funds comprise only 12.5 percent of total community college operating expenses. State and local funds – i.e., state and local taxpayers – comprise 82 percent of all funding for the community college system.
  • In 2005, legislation to grant illegal immigrants in-state-tuition was considered by the North Carolina General Assembly. According to Civitas’ April 2007 DecisionMaker Poll, 70 percent of voters oppose giving illegal immigrants in-state tuition.
  • In 2001, Texas granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. In 2005, Texas reported a 900 percent increase in enrollment of illegal immigrants in state higher education institutions and community colleges.
    Link

December 10, 2007 Posted by | north carolina | , | Leave a comment