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Lawmakers seek to modify proposed N.C. immigration bill

Greensboro is home to many hardworking, active individuals. While some of those people have lived in the city all of their lives, others have come from outside of the country, risking the challenges of immigration in order to find better lives. Their ability to contribute to the successes of Greensboro and North Carolina as a whole is threatened each time the state seeks to modify its stance toward non-residents.

As previously discussed on this blog, a proposed state law would allow law enforcement officials to detain people suspected of illegally being in the country while verifying the individuals' statuses and would prevent non-residents from getting out of jail when arrested for a variety of offenses. While the bill contains other provisions regarding permitting non-residents to apply for restricted driver's licenses, lawmakers are now proposing amendments to lighten the burdens non-residents could face if the bill is made into law without modification.

One Republican representative intends to propose an amendment that would allow non-residents to be released from jail prior to their hearings for minor infractions but would preserve the original intent of the bill for serious crimes and would mandate detainment in those cases. State Democrats are also seeking modifications that would establish that applying for a non-resident driver's license would not expose applicants to deportation proceedings.

As North Carolina's proposed immigration law will be debated and modified for some time before possibly becoming codified, it is likely that individuals interested in pursuing legal residency may be confused by the changes. Such individuals may choose to seek guidance from immigration experts in order to fully understand the procedures for changing their legal status.

Source: ABC Local, "North Carolina House Democrats ask for changes on immigration bill," Chris Kardish, April 24, 2013

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