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Bill Prohibiting NC Cities, Towns From Providing 'Sanctuary' Advances

The North Carolina legislative office building

A bill that would forbid local governments from providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants passed the state House today on a mostly party-line vote.The bill prohibits municipalities from passing any local ordinances that would restrict or interfere with enforcement of federal immigration laws. House Democrats expressed concerns about a provision in the bill that would allow anyone, even, perhaps, a corporation, to file suit against a local government for alleged non-compliance.

"I don't believe we actually want any person to be able to bring an expensive and time-consuming lawsuit against any of our cities or counties," said Rep. John Autry (D-Mecklenburg), one of a few dozen Democrats who voted against the bill.

"This is a good bill," countered Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven), one of the bill sponsors. "This allows citizens to step up to the plate and be able to stand up for what they believe in."

The bill now goes to the Senate. It was passed the same week the Republican-controlled General Assembly advanced another bill requiring sheriffs to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention orders on suspected undocumented people held in local jails.

Rusty Jacobs is WUNC's Voting and Election Integrity Reporter.
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