On June 24th, dozens of local elected officials across North Carolina sent Governor Roy Cooper a letter in support of him vetoing anti-immigrant legislation. The unconstitutional and immoral North Carolina House Bill 370 would require sheriffs and jails to comply with all immigration detainer requests made by the Department of Homeland Security. This would undermine trust in public institutions, decrease school attendance, divide communities, and ultimately facilitate the deportation of more residents. After the bill passed the Senate, Gov. Cooper declared it to be unconstitutional and “using fear to divide us.”

You can find the letter in full along with its signatories here.

Various Local Progress members who signed the letter offered statements on why they support a veto of HB 370 and any other anti-immigrant bills.

“The people now serving in the NC General Assembly are in power because of racist gerrymandering. These illegitimate representatives are once again overreaching into the business of what communities have democratically chosen for themselves: Sheriffs are elected in NC and some counties elected sheriffs because they understand the requirements of the constitution of the United States, North Carolina and current case law. I hope that our current governor understands what some of our sheriffs already do.”
Alderman Sammy Slade, Carrboro

 

“Sheriffs are elected by the people and should be empowered to do their jobs according to the needs of their jurisdiction without interference of the NC General Assembly.”
City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte

 

“Any law that on its face challenges the supremacy of the constitution we take an oath to uphold must be rejected out of hand.”
City Councilmember Mark-Anthony Middleton, Durham

 

“I stand in support of Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead in his opposition to this bill which undermines the authority of our local law enforcement and their ability to keep our community safe.”
(Chair) Commissioner Wendy Jacobs, Durham County

 

“This legislature should be about the business of fighting for better wages, benefits, and protections for workers, expanding Medicaid access, increasing funding for education, protecting our environment and making a better North Carolina for all. Instead, this group is using their authority to allow for their friends to drink until 4:00am for political purposes, letting their corporate friends get away with polluting our water while having citizens pick up the bill, and are forcing other elected officials to waste time and resources terrorizing and treating apart their communities. We as elected officials owe it to our neighbors to be better.”
(Vice Chair) Supervisor Danielle Adams, Durham Soil and Water Conservation District

 

“Legislation that requires local law enforcement to target any group jeopardizes their core mission and interferes with the trusting relationships built through hard work; let’s get off this slippery slope.”
Mayor Al Heggins, Salisbury

 

“Any law which requires local police, deputies, and magistrates to act as agents of immigrant deportation puts our communities at risk. Any time we make part of our community afraid to report crimes and witness against criminal activity, because they reasonably believe any contact with law enforcement could result in random deportation for themselves or members of their families , we create an unwilling cover for real criminals.”
Council Member Dan Bessie, Winston-Salem