After NC’s undocumented youth made headlines and exposed our state’s house select committee on immigration this past February, the committee reported yesterday that it is the federal government’s responsibility to “address the symptoms whose problem is really rooted in federal policy”. We couldn’t agree more, Speaker Tillis, the Obama administration needs to get it together. Quick.

Immigration Committee's meeting on February 2012

Immigration Committee’s meeting on February 2012

North Carolina’s Republican leadership has made an intelligent analysis and appears to be approaching the matter with care. However, our state’s leadership remains far from opening its arms to recognize the contributions undocumented immigrants bring to North Carolina. To be specific, we are still charged at the out-of-state tuition rate at all public colleges and universities despite paying in-state taxes, we remain prohibited from obtaining driver licenses, and business owners’ woes are increasing because they need and want the hard labor of illegal immigrants but run the risk of being criminalized for hiring us. So much for free enterprise, right, Jesse Helms?

The report released yesterday by the committee indicates undocumented youth, our families and allies have left a mark. The North Carolina Dream Team welcomes the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation that will open the doors for all undocumented workers, students, and families – many of whom are families of mixed status. As individuals, families, and communities–illegal and all–we are not backing down. We’ll continue fighting to be recognized as contributing residents of North Carolina.

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