N.C. gubernatorial candidates answer immigration questions
By The Associated PressHere are three questions posed by The Associated Press to the eight major-party candidates for governor on the topic of illegal immigration, followed by their unabridged responses. The responses were edited for AP style:
1. North Carolina has taken small steps in recent years to make it tougher for illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license or get a state government job. If elected, what would changes to state law or policy would you seek in your first year as governor to address the issue of illegal immigration?
2. Sheriffs in a few North Carolina counties now participate in a federal program allowing them to help enforce federal immigration laws. Should local law enforcement officials statewide enforce federal immigration law? Will you direct the state Highway Patrol and other state law enforcement agencies to do so?
3. Should the University of North Carolina system adopt a policy ó similar to that of the state community college system ó allowing illegal immigrants to enroll?
1. The immigration problem will not be solved until the federal government acts. I support comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level and would work with our congressional delegation to achieve that goal. In the case of continued federal inaction, I would support state legal action to try and force the federal government to enforce existing laws if it was clear that such action would be more than symbolic and would lead to real changes. And I support increased enforcement of immigration law on employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
2. I am supportive of local efforts to seek funding to enforce federal immigration law and to provide training for local law enforcement. The State Highway Patrol and other state law enforcement agencies should focus their efforts on their traditional missions.
3. No, I do not support allowing illegal immigrants to enroll in our universities or community colleges.
1. We currently have laws in place but we don’t enforce them. I see no sense in making new laws if we don’t intend to enforce the ones we already have. We must first enforce laws against employers who hire and do not pay taxes on illegals, this is the first step. No country in the history of the world has ever survived with open borders and neither will we; by not enforcing the law we are leaving a legacy for our children that will change this country forever. We cannot rely on the federal government to do it as they seem impotent to do anything in this area. We must (fight) this problem on head-on and find solutions within our state and do so very quickly. I have a four point exact plan that will work toward a solution.
2. I would support ALL law enforcement agencies to enforce all laws, they do it for other crimes and we must for illegal immigration as well.
3. No, the state should not allow illegal immigrants to enroll and pay in-state tuition.
Immigration policy stands out as one of the most complex challenges that we face as a nation. It also represents one of the greatest failings by our leaders in Washington. We have an immigration system that is clearly broken, and the Washington status quo has proven incapable of fixing it. We need change to break the logjam in Washington. But until that happens, state and local leaders will have to struggle in a piecemeal and unsatisfactory fashion with the consequences of Washington’s failure.
Our state needs to focus its limited resources on providing services and making them widely accessible for our citizens. That means making some tough decisions. One of those decisions in my view must be opposition to allowing illegal immigrants to take up slots in our community colleges and university system. The federal courts have essentially required states to have an open door policy in their K-12 public schools ó a policy with which I agree. And if federal law mandated extension of this policy to higher education, we should certainly find a way to comply. But the reality is that federal statutory law discourages states from considering such an extension.
I also believe that driving is a privilege and should not be extended to those who are in this country illegally. I would also point out that the federal Real ID legislation is also severely restricting the discretion of states in this area.
Finally, I support providing local law enforcement with the resources they need in order to participate in the federal 287(g) program which allows them to check the immigration status of arrested criminals and hand over those who are illegally here to federal authorities.
As North Carolina’s governor, I will aggressively seek to influence national policy and demand comprehensive immigration reform that starts with securing our borders and restoring public confidence in the immigration system. State leaders can only treat in a very limited way the symptoms stemming from the failure of national policy. But along with other governors, I will make it a priority to demand and participate in the shaping of new national policy that addresses the fundamental problems in a sensible and humane way.
1. In order to receive a license or any government service other than real emergency medical care, I would require non-U.S. citizens to show a valid passport from their country of origin and valid documentation issued by the US government that states they are in the process of applying for citizenship. By offering illegal aliens the benefits that are bestowed upon our citizens, illegal activity is only encouraged.
I would also propose legislation similar to Arizona and Oklahoma that will ban North Carolina employers from hiring illegal aliens. If they knowingly and intentionally do so, their license to operate may be suspended or revoked.
2. I would expand the 287(g) program to include all law enforcement officials, including sheriff departments and local law enforcement. I will also direct the Highway Patrol and other state law enforcement agencies to enforce our laws as they already have a duty to do so. I will provide the resources needed for our law enforcement officials to do their jobs.
3. No. Illegal aliens should not be permitted to enroll into any of our public colleges and universities unless they are in the process of applying for citizenship or have obtained a student visa.
1. I would make it illegal to give a driver’s license to illegal immigrants. I would implement the 287(g) program statewide and create a plan to allow deportation of illegal immigrants who are caught committing crimes. I would ask that employers make sincere efforts to determine the legality of their employees as current federal law requires. If illegal immigrants are here illegally, the state of North Carolina should not confer, in any way, additional legal benefits or status on them.
3. No. And I would work to rescind the ruling that allows illegal immigrants to enter community colleges. If illegal immigrants are here illegally, the state of North Carolina should not confer, in any way, additional legal benefits and status on them.
1. The state of North Carolina and local governments are incurring significant costs due to illegal immigration. If the federal government will not perform its constitutional responsibilities for handling immigration, then our taxpayers are entitled to reimbursement for the costs associated with providing education, health care and services in the criminal justice system.
First and foremost, we need to identify who is here legally, and ensure that the DMV is only issuing driver’s licenses to legal residents. We also must accurately account for the net cost of illegal immigration by mandating record keeping of services provided in our public schools, health care facilities, and criminal justice system to illegal immigrants. That information can then be used to aggressively pursue reimbursement from the federal government. If petitioning the federal government fails, I will direct the North Carolina Attorney General to pursue every legal recourse to secure reimbursement for our taxpayers, including bringing a suit against the U.S. government in federal court.
2. I have expressed my support for the 287(g) program to give immigration policing authority to county sheriffs. Sen. Dole has organized a committee of experts to conduct a needs assessment for our counties. This process should yield a good implementation plan. However, I am concerned about the cost of participation for our local governments and the state. The federal government should not be allowed to delegate its constitutional responsibility to the state without providing for the costs.
3. No. Having served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, I cannot ignore the law. I understand the frustration on both sides of this issue, however, it is not right to grant benefits created for North Carolina citizens and legal residents to those who are illegally residing in the state. Under federal law, these individuals are still subject to possible deportation. Even if they were allowed to attend North Carolina universities, their legal status makes them ineligible to work and use their degree after graduation. As governor, I will advocate for Congress to act and resolve the status of individuals currently residing in the U.S. illegally, particularly the status of individuals who have been educated in and successfully graduated from our public schools.
1. Legal workers of federal H2A program work here tax free. No state, federal tax, or social security deducted from their paychecks. Working illegal, paying Social-S, state, federal tax to a false SS#, billions of dollars going to state/federal government weekly ó SO, what do we do, add their American born children on our payroll, deport all illegals, bring them back legal, they work tax free also.
Politicians, look what a mess we are in.
My common sense thoughts are!!
Most prefer not to change citizenship, we move some Department of Revenue employees to another first in America, the all new N.C. Department of Immigration. Hiring locally throughout the state, train and certify as state immigration officers in each county checking immigrant work cards w/bar code issued by N.C. at $1,500 each, the first year, $500 each year afterward. I am told by immigrants with a work program as this, they will gladly identify criminals or others that need to be deported. Legal workers allowed passage to/from their country via airlines, departing or arriving through state customs inspections only at Raleigh/Charlotte international airport. No cost to you taxpayers, we’ve just added 300,000 consumers to our plans.
2. No need to. Under our new N.C. Department of Immigration, we have local people from each and every county trained as immigration agents handling this problem. Local law enforcement can spend more time to their duty, murder, robbery, gangs, meth labs. I even have plans to add more local/statewide law enforcement. … When a traffic stop involves an immigrant on a DWI, crash or need assistant, our local state immigration agents based in each county will be quickly dispatched upon call. HP/other law enforcement return to their jobs as normal placing more attention on highway/public safety etc. The new Department of Immigration handles immigrants.
3. Yes, I am for anyone who pays for their education creating a productive lifestyle, by not depending on our system for help through their lives. If you or I were in an accident, immigrants trained and working serving the public, may be the first medic or rescue arriving to save our lives, or the doctor awaiting for us at the hospital.
1. We are a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws. Without our immigrants, America would not be such a force for powerful ideals and the economic engine of the world. Without laws, America’s promise of freedom would be just a promise.
Illegal aliens are placing a tremendous burden on our state. As governor, I would push to:
Work to allow all law enforcement the opportunity to participate in the 287(g) program which “provides the legal authority for state and local enforcement to investigate, detain, arrest and deport illegal aliens violating our criminal laws.” Require valid documentation before issuing a driver’s license or allowing anyone to receive government benefits. Require a valid voter ID card to protect the integrity of our elections. Seek to pass illegal immigration legislation like the states of Georgia and Oklahoma that require local government agencies to enforce federal law and ask applicants if the are a citizen legally entitled to the benefits they are seeking.
2. All law enforcement agencies in North Carolina should participate in the 287(g) program to apprehend, detain, and deport illegal aliens who violate our laws. Our goal is to ensure safe homes, safe schools, and safe streets for our families. Our safety and security is dependent upon the enforcement of our laws.