by Sam Hieb
News & Record reports on yesterday’s state House Judiciary II Committee hearing on HB 63, which —among other things— would “withhold six types of state tax money from local governments that give sanctuary to unauthorized immigrants.” Sources of revenue that could be withheld from cities providing sanctuary for illegal immigrants include “tax collections on the sale of beer and wine, telecommunications services, tires, and piped natural gas, as well as state Department of Transportation aid to municipalities.”
There is a strong Guilford County delegation on the committee— Reps. John Faircloth, Pricey Harrison, and John Blust, with Blust serving as the committee chair.
Right off the bat Harrison showed her hand:
After the meeting, Harrison said that as the proposal now stands, she believes it is full of holes with a strong potential to trigger miscarriages of justice.
“We’re going down a road where it’s probably going to be declared unconstitutional,” she said. “And I’m troubled by the overall signal it sends to the immigrant community.”
As you can probably imagine, testimony before committee became emotional on both sides— a Caldwell County resident testified that an intoxicated illegal caused the car wreck that killed her brother, while a chapel Hill obstetrician said the bill —if it became law—would keep her patients from seeing her, which in turn would cost the government “many thousands of dollars” after “an impoverished newborn spends weeks in intensive care with health problems triggered by the mother’s failure to receive proper medical treatment before birth.”
Each testimony appealed to the legislators’ “basic sense of humanity”–as the N&R put it–but it seems to me in this case there was juxtaposed a theoretical human toll versus a real-life human toll that illegal immigration has brought upon our state.