immigration

Nick de la Canal/WFAE

More than 250 businesses in the Charlotte region will not open Thursday as part of a nationwide campaign called "A Day Without Immigrants," or "Dia Sin Inmigrantes," according to organizers and reports from the Spanish-language newspapers Que Pasa Mi Gente and Hola Noticias, which has kept a running tally on its Facebook page.

Manolo Betancur owns a bakery on Central Avenue. He spoke at Friday's event at the Government Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 680 people nationwide since last week, including more than 100 in the Carolinas, in the Trump administration's first major crackdown on people in the country illegally.  U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly acknowledged the operations in a statement Monday, saying about three-quarters of those arrested were a threat to public safety.  But local immigration lawyers and immigrants say the new administration is sowing fear by casting a wider net.

Hector Vaca of Action NC speaks at a press conference by Latin American and African American leaders Friday at the Government Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

Federal officials say there's nothing new or different about how they've been arresting people for immigration violations in Charlotte this week. But the arrests raised fears in the city's Latin-American community. Many see it as part of a nationwide anti-immigrant campaign led by the White House.

About 20 Charlotte area residents, including immigrants, came together outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center to protest actions by ICE agents in recent days.
John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte city leaders released a statement Friday that put it plainly: "Regarding sanctuary cities, although there is no agreed upon legal definition of what a sanctuary city is, Charlotte is not one." In recent interviews, however, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has been offering a more nuanced view.

Commentary: My Family's Citizenship Stories

Feb 9, 2017

My mother told me her American citizenship ceremony took place in a high school auditorium. “Maybe two dozen of us became citizens,” she started off then changed her mind. “No probably more.” She mentioned how they served punch and cookies afterwards in the long hallway lined with lockers.

Advocates for refugees in North Carolina are expressing strong disapproval of  President Trump's executive order that temporarily bars many immigrants from entering the U.S.   "I find it to be an exceptionally unfortunate decision," said Marsha Hirsch, executive director of Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency in Charlotte. 

Hirsch added that the resettlement program has been in use for decades, with bipartisan support.  She says the program was intended to "remove people from peril" and give them a chance to rebuild their lives in the U.S.

Bouchra Idlibi of Charlotte brought her children. She said she's a Syrian-Muslim-American.
David Boraks / WFAE

Protests continued Sunday in Charlotte and other parts of the state against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. One of Mecklenburg County's two U.S. representatives joined in, while the other says he supports the president.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

A protest broke out at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Saturday night in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The gathering began around 9 p.m. and reached its peak about an hour later, when roughly 60 protesters swarmed the airport's baggage claim clutching homemade signs and chanting, "No hate. No fear. Immigrants are welcome here." Police kept a close perimeter.

Charlotte Observer / Robert Lahser

When people debate immigration in the news, it's usually in reference to laborers coming to the U.S. from Mexico in search of work and decent wages. But the country is beginning to face a new type of immigrant coming into the country not for work, but for asylum.

Bills Would Ban Police From Accepting "Community IDs"

Jun 10, 2016
North Carolina General Assembly building.
NC General Assembly

Police in North Carolina have been accepting what is called a community ID from people who are in the country illegally and others who don’t have the proper documentation to get a state-issued one. Two bills in the state legislature would stop that practice. Law enforcement groups aren’t happy about that.

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