letter to the editor

Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been carrying out operations targeting the Latinx immigrant community across North Carolina. More than 200 immigrants were arrested. They are fathers, mothers and friends, whose disappearance disrupts and harms communities across our state. Community groups consider this coordinated action a retaliation for the recent election of sheriffs in Wake, Mecklenburg, and Durham counties that reject Section 287(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. That program links local police to ICE, effectively turning every officer into an immigration agent. 

When ICE sets up checkpoints, conducts raids and make themselves a presence, they terrorize our brothers and sisters in the Latinx immigrant community. People fear leaving their homes and answering the door, as they seek to guard themselves against deportation proceedings and incarceration. ICE’s actions are the very negation of the right to movement. Their actions seek to divide workers, white against brown, citizen against non-citizen, while reducing freedom and violating human rights.

Currently, the North Carolina Republican-controlled state legislature is working to pass House Bill 370, “Require Sheriff Cooperation with ICE,” that would force all sheriffs to comply with ICE detainers under threat of a financial penalty. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina considers this “an anti-immigrant bill that circumvents the local authority of sheriffs” and “transparent retaliation against the growing number of sheriffs across North Carolina who have pledged to not assist ICE with targeting or detaining community members for immigration offenses.”

The members of the North Carolina State University Graduate Workers Union categorically oppose these repressive actions by ICE and the state legislature. We join with community organizations like El Pueblo and seven North Carolina mayors in calling for an end to these unjust actions. We call on North Carolina State University leadership to implement the actions outlined in Resolution 60 from the 96th Session of the Student Senate, Undocumented and DACA Students Support Act, as well as to make a statement opposing HB 370.

As workers, we stand in solidarity with all people no matter their nationalities, believing in the universal right to movement and labor where you freely choose. We believe that actualizing such a right is an effective guarantee for workers to live wherever they feel is best for them and their families. No human is illegal, and borders arbitrarily divide a global working class, pitting us in competition against one another. Instead of terror, we should be building bridges between communities — between workers — as we seek to make a more just world in the 21st Century.