The Latin American Coalition and We Are NC, an alliance of organizations and individuals working to shift the debate on immigration in North Carolina, held a press conference in Raleigh on Wednesday, Mrch 28, 2012 to emphasize the positive impacts of immigrants in North Carolina.
Immigrants, faith leaders, economic advisors, advocates, and allies came together to deliver an immigrant affirming message to the media and people of North Carolina.
The press conference preceded a meeting of the House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration, which has charged itself with determining how North Carolina will copy failed anti-immigrant legislation like that of Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
This was the first meeting of the House Select Committee that was open to public comments. An overwhelming majority of speakers came out in support of immigrant-affirming policies for North Carolina. 27 of the 35 speakers whom delivered public comments made passionate and grounded arguments for the adoption of policies that would make North Carolina more united and stronger. (Watch the whole 2-hour Committee meeting.) Three of those passionate speakers included Irene Godinez, the Latin American Coalition’s Legislative Director, and two members of United 4 The Dream, Juan Ramos and Guillermo Mendoza.
The House Select Committee resolved to meet again two more times this fall, after the General Assembly’s short summer session. Another factor in scheduling the meeting in the fall is to wait and see how the United States Supreme Court decides in the federal government’s suit against Arizona over their anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. The Supreme Court hears the case in April and will decide on it sometime during the summer.
Here are some more images from the press conference.