North Carolina Justice Center: Action for Justice
North Carolina’s own Arizona-style, anti-immigrant bill is still alive in the House, but your voices can help defeat this bill.
Recently, House Bill 786 was amended so that undocumented immigrants wishing to obtain a “restricted driving permit” have to show that they have pre-paid one year of car insurance, which statistics show costs over $1,000 on average in North Carolina. Few undocumented families are going to be able to pay that amount of money up front. They will also face a myriad of other hurdles, including passing a strict criminal background check, providing fingerprints and admitting their undocumented status, proving their presence in North Carolina for a year, and paying fees for the permit itself which could cost up to hundreds of dollars.
Immigrants will feel the full effects of the negative provisions of the bill if the driving permit remains out of reach. Their cars will be seized and impounded if they drive without a license or insurance and they will be subject to arrest and detention if they cannot prove their lawful immigration status to any local law enforcement officer, among many other restrictions.
Citizens and legal residents will also be affected as law enforcement officers may detain anyone they suspect of being undocumented. U.S. citizens and legal residents who speak a different language or dress differently than a “typical” American could be subject to detention if they cannot prove their immigration status on the spot. U.S. citizens’ cars will also be seized if their insurance lapses even for a brief period.
This bill will likely cost North Carolinians millions of dollars – money that should be directed towards creating jobs, and improving health care and education for all North Carolina residents. We don’t need to be spending our taxpayer dollars targeting those aspiring Americans who simply come here to work and contribute, or U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants who look, speak, or dress differently than others.
House Bill 944, which would take money desperately needed by our public school to provide voucher for private schools, is scheduled for consideration by the House Education Committee on Tuesday May 14. Committee members and other representatives need to hear from their constituents before Tuesday.
House Bill 944 would take $90 million in state money to fund a voucher program in NC. The bill is supposed to help low-income families, but the amount provided by the voucher is far lower than the tuition and fees of quality private schools. It also asks North Carolina’s parents to provide their own funds to pay for an education that the state is constitutionally required to provide. The bill does not save the state money as lawmakers claim. If the voucher is given to 24% of students who would have attended private school regardless of the voucher, the state would lose money. Finally, the bill fails to address the fact that many quality private schools have barrier to admission such as standardized test scores, financial fees, prior course requirements, applicant interviews, special needs, or the lack of transportation.
The new Senate tax plan continues the Great Tax Shift by forcing middle and low-income families to pay more while giving a tax cut to the wealthiest individuals and corporations.
Several components of the Senate tax plan create cause for concern. By expanding the sales tax base to make up for cuts in the personal and corporate income tax, low and middle income families who already pay a higher portion of their income in taxes than high income families will pay even more, and the wealthiest will pay even less. The Senate tax plan means that $1 billion less in revenue will be collected, meaning cuts to vital public investments that are critical to jobs and economic growth in our state like our world-class higher education system, our renowned medical centers and public safety.
Tell North Carolina’s Senators and Representatives to stop shifting the tax load to hardworking North Carolinians in order to fund tax cuts for the rich and big corporations.