Thursday, June 30, 2011

Students plan rally at Obama's Charlotte campaign headquarters

A Charlotte youth group affiliated with the Latin American Coalition is calling on President Obama to sign an executive order that would halt deportation of many college–aged illegal immigrants.

The United 4 The Dream youth group will be rallying Friday at 5 p.m. in front of Obama’s re-election headquarters on Elizabeth Avenue.

The Obama administration has said that congress should pass the Dream Act, which would allow some young illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship if they attend college or the join the military.

Advocates now want the president to use his authority to stop the deportations of certain groups, including students who would be eligible for the Dream Act.

For more information on the rally, call 704-941-2542 or visit

Friday, June 10, 2011

Could N.C. be the toughest immigration state?

Five immigration enforcement bills gaining momentum in the N.C. General Assembly could, if passed, make the state one of the toughest places for illegal immigrants to reside.

One bill prevents foreign-born residents from using their home country’s IDs as legal identification. And another requires all businesses to check the legal status of new employees using a federal system called E-Verify.

The proposed measures would bring North Carolina in line with Arizona and Alabama, considered the states with the strongest immigration laws. 

Each of the N.C. bills have passed at least one house. If approved, they’d be sent to the governor’s desk for her signature.

Check the status of each bill:

House Bill 33 – Consular Documents Not Acceptable as ID
H36 – Employers/Gov. Contractors Must Use E-Verify
HB744 Safe Students Act

Senate Bill 205 – No Benefits For Illegal Aliens
S303 – Real ID Compliance/ Limited Duration Licenses

The apparent progress of the N.C. bills reflects similar efforts sweeping across the nation as some states seek to take more active roles in enforcing immigration restrictions. But immigration advocates, as well as President Obama, say the issue should be handled at the federal level. 

On Thursday, Alabama legislators appeared to take the title of toughest immigration enforcers from Arizona when the governor signed a new law, that among other things, makes it a crime to give an illegal immigrant a ride.

Most of the new immigration laws, whether those proposed in Alabama, North Carolina, or Georgia, are modeled after laws passed in Arizona last year.

More states could follow suit depending on the outcome of a Supreme Court decision on the most controversial aspects of the Arizona bill. The country’s highest court is expected to look closer at the Arizona law after a federal judge ruled some parts unconstitutional, including requiring police to check the immigration status of people detained if there is reason to believe he or she is in the country illegally.

Last month, the Supreme Court voted 5-3 to back another Arizona law that requires companies to check employee status that is similar to the E-Verify bill proposed in North Carolina.

File photo: Demonstrators supporting and opposing Arizona's Immigration policy (Annie Tritt/The New York Times)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Latino arts festival kicks off tonight

The Latino cultural festival "Con A de Arte" is returning to Charlotte this weekend.

Latino artists will be featured at a series of events, including tonight's South End gallery crawl and at the Gil Gallery/Coffey and Thompson Gallery on Morehead Street.

On Saturday, the work of more than a dozen painters, visual artists, and photographers, will be featured from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the main Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Uptown. 

These events are free and open to the public.

For more information visit,