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Community expresses concerns over immigration discrimination

While there has been much media coverage regarding the children crossing the southern borders, some communities have expressed other concerns. There have been allegations that long-term migrants are facing immigration discrimination by law enforcement. While some of the recent concerns are not coming out of North Carolina, there may be residents here who have similar fears.

One town's ACLU recently held a press conference to discuss the claims of racial profiling in the immigrant community. There have been some families that have been broken up due to detention by local law enforcement officials. The ACLU has expressed concerns that a disproportionate number of non-white residents have been targeted for arrests and detainment by local police. It has been acknowledged that allegations of racial profiling have not been proved in court.

However, after procuring a report -- through litigation -- the statistics kept by immigration enforcement officials seem to reflect increased arrests for some groups. The agency forms include a description for skin coloration, and, reportedly, the numbers for medium to dark skin tones has increased from almost 67 percent in 2007 to more than 94 percent last year. On its face, the numbers may not prove any allegations of racial profiling, but the group is alleging that the local officers who have been given the authority to detain residents are the problem.

ACLU organizers, along with other local groups, are calling for several programs to be canceled. These programs include the right of local officers to detain any resident who is suspected of being undocumented to verify legal status of inmates and to check the immigration status of any individual arrested, regardless of the nature of the charge. Residents in North Carolina may have similar concerns regarding immigration discrimination. Those residents who have encountered discrimination may turn to local resources that may help explain their rights and provide information regarding how to ensure their continued residency.

Source: clatl.com, "Local immigration enforcement results in racial profiling, groups claim", John Ruch, Aug. 1, 2014

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