Massive Presence of Immigrants at Legislature to Oppose HB10 that would Force Sheriffs to Collaborate with ICE  

Raleigh, May 1, 2024 – More than a hundred people came to the North Carolina Legislature on Wednesday, May 1, to speak out against the bill HB10, which would force the state’s sheriffs to collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and which is advancing rapidly in the Senate.  

Under the slogan “Todos Somos North Carolina” (We are all North Carolina), adults and young community members, mostly Latinos, participated in a mobilization and lobbying day organized by the El Pueblo organization, the Alliance for Immigrant Rights, and several local organizations.  

“We are here to tell legislators that HB10 does not guarantee that our communities will be safer, instead, it will break community’s trust in law enforcement for fear of deportation,” said Griselda Alonzo of MOON. “We cannot forget the hundreds of families separated as a result of law enforcement and ICE collaboration.”  

Debate on HB10 began on Tuesday, April 30. In less than 24 hours, the anti-immigrant bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Rules and Operations Committee and sent to the full upper chamber.   

“Misleading arguments have been used to justify this legislation. It is not true that about 90 sheriffs voluntarily cooperate with ICE. According to ICE, only 15 sheriffs’ offices have signed agreements under the 287g program,” said Iliana Santillan, executive director of El Pueblo. “It has also been said that it will only target those who have committed a crime and we know that many people are in jails only as suspects. This bill opens the door to racial profiling and abuse of power by law enforcement.”  

Impact of HB10 

During the lobbying day, members of the immigrant community visited 40 office of house representatives and 25 Senate offices from 12 different counties to provide them with information about the contributions of immigrants in North Carolina and to ask them to oppose HB10, which would generate substantial economic losses for the state.  

Immigrants, regardless of their status, contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes. Their economic contributions far exceed the cost of the public services they use.  

According to a 2023 American Immigration Council report, North Carolina immigrants pay $8.4 billion in taxes each year. Undocumented immigrants are estimated to pay $772.5 million each year.    

While the North Carolina Department of Commerce indicates that 10.9% of the labor force in the state is immigrant. In the construction sector 29% of all workers are immigrants and something similar occurs in agriculture where the figure reaches 23.3%.  

“HB10 will make migrant workers decide to leave the state as has already happened in other states where similar laws have been passed,” said Martha Hernandez of the Popular Action Committee. “We are not only a labor force but we generate jobs and move the state’s economy: there are 67,453 business owners, and the value of homes whose owners are migrants amounts to 70.3 billion dollars.”

List of Organization that attended Somos North Carolina

  • Mi Familia en acción
  • Progress NC
  • Megaphone 
  • Education Justice Alliance
  • NC Justice Center
  • Hispanic Federation 
  • Justicia y Esperanza 
  • Toxic Free NC
  • Comité de Acción Popular
  • IJC (Immigrant Justice Coalition) Boone NC
  • Watauga County Immigrant Justice Coalition
  • Hendfact
  • Valores
  • MOON
  • United for a Fair Economy & Raising Wages NC coalition
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • CWS Durham
  • AINC Alianza
  • Asheboro Latinxs Services
  • SEAC (Southeast Asian Coalition) Village
  • El Telar
  • BluePrintNC
  • LINTIN 19
  • The Freedom Center for Social Justice
  • Comité Popular Somos Raleigh

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