My Turn by James Furr: McCrory right to veto HB 786
It was with much interest that I observed Gov. Pat McCrory’s recent veto of House Bill 786, which addresses the catastrophe of illegal immigration within our state. Without careful examination of the legislation, I normally would be concerned by the veto of what — at first glance — appears to be some excellent first steps toward trying to correct the problem of this illegal invasion. However — as with all too many legislative efforts — this bill is flawed through one provision which does earn it the veto our governor issued.
Typically, we are told of the economic attraction that draws those who cross our borders with any approving sanctions from our federal government. “It’s the lure of easy money, it’s got a very strong appeal” was a lyric from a great Glenn Frey song of the 1980s, and comes to mind when considering why we face this problem. Those who enter our country without governmental knowledge or approval are usually in search of opportunities that pay astronomical sums relative to the same labor in their home countries. Herein lies the flaw within HB 768, as it actually increases the time employers have before being required to execute an E-Verify search. This increase allows the employee to work up to nine months without verification of citizenship status. The lure of easy money — both for the illegal aliens seeking work and the employers who seek to hire at sub-market rates — offers a very strong appeal.
Regardless of the remainder of the bill’s good intentions, this loophole only increases the “attractive nuisance” value to the illegals to come and remain within North Carolina. As with any undesirable or unwanted situation, if one will first remove the temptation, the undesirable behavior will typically follow. HB 786 will actually increase the opportunity these illegals have to work and take North Carolina jobs away from those who have lived here within the law. When considered, this provision alone is certainly enough reason for Governor McCrory to pull out the veto pen. Governor, I commend you for it.
In Landis, many of our citizens take a special interest in the issue of illegal immigration, far beyond the scope of the average Carolinian. In February 2007, expectant mother Leanna Newman’s automobile was struck on South Main Street by a drunken illegal immigrant fleeing the police. This invader was one who had been arrested multiple times, under six different names, and previously had been deported twice. The wound our community suffered will never heal, especially by those who witnessed this totally unnecessary carnage of two lives. Having suffered through this tragedy drives my heightened interest in removing the onslaught of those in our country without regard for law (from their first footsteps crossing our borders).
While offering my support of the veto, I also would like to offer an alternative for the General Assembly. Allow the veto to stand and revisit the issue next session. Tighten — not loosen — the E-Verify provisions of HB 786. Accomplish this, and I will commend your body for the first tiny steps our North Carolina leadership needs to take to correct this disaster of illegals flooding our country. But for now, thank you, Governor McCrory, for your action.
James Furr is mayor of Landis.
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