RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — They’ve been protesting for weeks — activists and advocates all calling on the governor to veto House Bill 318, which would lead to stricter enforcement of the state’s immigration policy and protesters say it’s wrong.
Saturday afternoon Governor Pat McCrory got that message loud and clear. As he held one event at the governor’s mansion, it was possible to hear protesters across the street.
The protesters clearly intended to upstage the governor’s event.
And while the governor tried to ignore them … WNCN brought up the issue to McCrory.
They gathered outside the governor’s mansion. More than two dozen strong. And they had a message for Governor Pat McCrory while he was holding an event about adopting pets.
These protests have been going on for three weeks. Ever since the general assembly passed House Bill 318. It’s known as the protect North Carolina workers act and it would tighten the state’s immigration laws.
First it would ban consular ID cards, which is what undocumented immigrants use for ID. It would also ban sanctuary cities — meaning local governments couldn’t protect undocumented immigrants. Protesters are calling on the governor to veto it.
“It’s like one of the biggest human rights violations that we’ve seen in the state in a long time,” said protester Jorge Ramos.
“It’s going to affect our community. They’re not going to be able to like mothers to pick up their sons from school, to pick up medicine from the pharmacies,” added David Salazar, a protester.
The protest was going on just as the governor held an adopt a pet event. It was possible to hear the chanting.
The governor tried to avoid it … At one point he even joked about it. Telling the crowd the animals up for adoption were putting up with a lot of noise.
“If they can deal with this environment. They can deal with your kids, your neighbor, even your governor,” McCrory said.
The governor didn’t take questions … But that didn’t stop a WNCN reporter from asking what he would say to those protesters. He quickly got up and started walking away.
“Can’t we be out here for both events. It’s a large group,” asked a WNCN reporter.
“Thank you all very much you’re obviously you’re not interested in cats and dogs,” the governor said while walking away.
Shortly after that exchange the governor’s press office emailed WNCN a statement that said the governor opposes sanctuary cities.
But what about house bill 318? That was not made clear.