Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Federal Program Erodes Community Trust, Report Finds

A federal program which allows local law enforcement to identify and deport undocumented immigrants has "created a climate of racial profiling" in communities across North Carolina, according to a recent report by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Immigration/Human Rights Policy Clinic and the ACLU in North Carolina Legal Foundation (News Observer).

"We found serious erosion of community trust, as well as legal concerns," said Professor Deborah Weissman of UNC law school.

AFSC’s North Carolina office is supporting the creation of Immigrant Solidarity Committees in three cities across the state and 287(g) has emerged as one of the key concerns of both immigrants and non-immigrant allies involved in the committees.

"Our office gets regular phone calls from individuals whose family members have been detained for minor offenses like broken taillights. 287(g) was sold as a program to get violent offenders off the streets, but instead we see families ripped apart for traffic violations. This report will hopefully help bring to the public’s attention the grave moral and legal problems within 287(g)," said Lori Fernald Khamala of AFSC’s Project Voice program in Greensboro, NC.

The reports and executive summary can be found at:
To learn more about AFSC’s work in North Carolina visit http://www.afsc.org/greensboro/.