North Carolina outlaws sanctuary cities and cracks down on hiring illegal aliens

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) has signed HB318, the Protect North Carolina Workers Act which includes a number of measures to crack down on illegal immigration, into law.  The ACLU has complained that the new law makes North Carolina ”unwelcoming”.

HB318 prohibits local governments in North Carolina from enacting ”sanctuary city” ordinances or otherwise refusing to comply with federal immigration laws.  It also prohibits local governments from creating their own local forms of identification for illegal aliens.  Use of the ”matricula consular” issued by Mexican consulates or of any other foreign document other than a valid passport for any public purpose is also prohibited.

The legislation requires all state and local governments and government agencies to confirm the status of all of their employees using e-Verify and to require any government contractors to certify that they have verified the status of all of their employees through e-Verify.  Government officials can be held personally liable financially for failure to comply.

The new law also provides a mechanism for citizen complaints against employers of illegal aliens which can be filed with the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, and must be investigated.  Complaints can be filed anonymously.  The Commissioner of Labor is authorized to request assistance in investigations from the State Bureau of Investigation.  If the Commissioner determines that a complaint indicates a likely violation, a hearing is held, and the Commissioner can impose civil penalties (fines), and notify law enforcement and ICE.

HB 318 was sponsored by conservative State Representatives George Cleveland (R-Onslow) and Chris Millis (R-Pender) and passed the House on a straight party line vote, but passed the more conservative state Senate unanimously.  The biggest threat to passage was an attempt in committee by State Representative Harry Warren (RINO-Rowan) to add language allowing illegal aliens to obtain North Carolina drivers licenses.

The effort to pass this legislation culminates an eight year effort by North Carolinians For Immigration Reform and Enforcement (NC FIRE) led by James Johnson.  NC Listen, led by Ron Woolard also assisted.