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Some to protest immigration laws at DNC in North Carolina

This September, Charlotte will host the Democratic National Convention. Immigration issues will undoubtedly play a significant role in this fall's presidential election, and they will likely have a major place at the DNC, where a number of undocumented immigrants plan to stage an act of protest.

In fact, some undocumented immigrants have boarded a bus that will take them across the country to North Carolina just in time for the DNC, where they plan to march and protest with other immigration advocates. The Mecklenburg sheriff's office has said that it will not arrest and keep immigrants in custody during the convention merely because they do not have proper paperwork. Instead, law enforcement officials will be under orders to arrest and detain only those who are suspected of committing a crime, a process that a sheriff's office representative described as "business as usual."

Once in custody, however, Mecklenburg deputies can rapidly bring an undocumented immigrant to the attention of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Using a program labeled 287(g), a deputy is authorized to ask about a detainee's citizenship status and place of birth. If the person indicates that he or she is from another country, deputies use the person's fingerprints to access a federal database that quickly reveals the person's immigration status within a matter of minutes.

Some of the protesters are coming to decry laws that they believe are unfair. Whether some of those laws are repealed, modified, or continued may depend on the results turned in at the ballot box in November.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Busload of undocumented U.S. residents to protest at DNC," Carmen Cusido and Fred Clasen-Kelly, July 31, 2012.

• Despite some recent helpful changes to immigration law, achieving one's immigration goals can still be difficult. If you would like more information on our firm, please visit our Greensboro family-based immigration page.

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