Roy Cooper on Immigration
Governor's Veto Message: This legislation is using fear to divide North Carolina. Current law allows the state to jail and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status. This bill, in addition to being unconstitutional, weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating sheriffs to do the job of federal agents.
Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 25-18-7 on June 24; passed House, 62-53-5 on Aug. 20; vetoed by Gov. Cooper on Aug 21.
Nearly 800,000 young people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA)--known as "Dreamers"--played no role in the decision to come here and they have known no other home but the United States.
Already, more than 12,000 Dreamers have lost their protective status and are susceptible to deportation. This is not a theoretical peril, but in fact an immediate and urgent one, because more than 100 young people in our cities and towns are losing their protective status every day. Those numbers will accelerate dramatically without a legislative fix.
We stand with these young American immigrants not only because it is good for our communities and a strong American 21st century economy, but also because it is the right thing for our nation to do. DACA recipients have subjected themselves to extensive background and security checks in order to work and attend college. They are studying at our universities. They are working to support themselves and their families, paying taxes and contributing to their communities in a myriad of ways. In the absence of congressional action providing for a permanent resolution, the termination of DACA puts these young people and their families in peril, and will destabilize our schools, workplaces and communities.
We recognize the complexities and challenges created by this issue, but swift, successful action is needed, action that can build momentum to reassure policymakers that progress on other immigration challenges is possible as well. As a bipartisan coalition of governors, we stand ready to help.