Protesters rally against immigration bills in General Assembly

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A group of immigrants and activists rallied in downtown Raleigh Saturday morning against House Bill 370 and House Bill 135.

House Bill 370 would require local law enforcement to honor federal immigration detainment requests. The legislation, which has already passed the House, comes after sheriffs in the state -- including in Wake and Mecklenburg counties -- have withdrawn their departments from the 287 (g) program.

"Many of these sheriffs were elected under those campaign promises. So we see this as not only a violation against the community, but against democracy. People voted for those sheriffs based on those campaign promises, and now the legislature's coming in and stepping in trying to impose their will," said Juan Miranda, a community organizer with Siembra NC.

Protesters also voiced their concerns with House Bill 135, which among other things would stop local authorities from accepting community IDs to determine residency and prevent UNC system campuses from becoming sanctuary universities.

They called on the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association and Gov. Roy Cooper to oppose the proposals.

The rally comes just four days after a news conference at the General Assembly where supporters of HB 829, which would allow undocumented residents to receive a restricted driver's license. So far, no Republicans have publicly supported that legislation.
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