The bill, proposed by Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Carteret, would withhold tax dollars from cities and universities that don’t comply with federal immigration laws and would prohibit UNC institutions from becoming sanctuary universities. A similar bill was sent to the House’s Finance Committee in March.
Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina, said the bill would infringe on the privacy rights of community members — and violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution.
“State lawmakers should not be in the business of telling local officials to target and single out undocumented North Carolinians who work, go to school and contribute to our communities in countless ways,” Gillooly said.
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said in December students’ immigration status is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the University has defended students in the past.
“It also is important to know our UNC police department does not gather information about citizenship or immigration status, and only makes inquiries about individuals who are the subject of a felony criminal investigation,” she said.
Ron Woodard, director of NC Listen, an immigration reform advocacy group, said in an email the bill encourages cities considering sanctuary policies to think twice.