Blog

H135 further erodes trust between communities and their local officials making our cities and counties less safe and less healthy

  • H135 makes communities less safe as people fear for their families and are less willing to come forward if they are a victim of or witness to a crime.
  • H135 makes it harder for people to access health care and other services.
  • H135 further erodes trust between local officials and their communities.
  • H135 allows anyone from anywhere in the country to sue an NC city or county over potentially frivolous claims, creating huge court costs for local governments.
  • Cities and counties would be vulnerable to expensive litigation from out-of-state anti-immigrant groups under H135.
  • H135 is yet another way NCGA leaders are imposing their conservative agenda on local governments and ignoring the will of the voters.

H135, “Enjoin Sanctuary Ordinances,” will get a vote on the House floor Wednesday. It adds an enforcement mechanism to a 2015 law that prohibits “sanctuary cities” by banning counties from taking certain steps to protect immigrants. It is similar to a 2017 law passed in Texas and echoes anti-immigrant policy pushed by right-wing groups.

The controversial H318, passed in 2015, bans cities from adopting certain immigration policies. Among the provisions is a ban on recognition of consular IDs that undocumented immigrants from Mexico use for doctor’s visits and to attend school. The 2015 anti-sanctuary law has eroded trust between communities and local officials, including law enforcement. It has also had a chilling effect on reporting of crime as victims and witnesses are less willing to come forward.

Under H135 anyone from anywhere could sue a North Carolina city or county they think is in violation of the 2015 anti-immigrant law. Cities and counties would be vulnerable to expensive litigation from out-of-state anti-immigrant groups. This bill is intended to intimidate local elected officials and is yet another way NCGA leaders are attempting to enact their extreme agenda instead of the will of the voters. It will make it harder for voters to hold their local officials accountable.

There are still a lot of questions about how H135 would work in practice. For example, it is unclear whether or not sheriffs could be sued under this law. In other states, right-wing militia groups and local governments have entered standoffs. H135 could allow those militias to sue our communities. 

One thing is clear, H135 puts our state on an unwelcoming, unsafe, and unhealthy path.