Immigrants Get a Wave of Support

This article, from the News and Observer in Raleigh, NC, has just made my morning a little better. My home state of North Carolina has been thrown into a heated debate over immigration, with new 287(g) agreements in the state and ICE raids now occuring with more frequency.

Things seemed to hit a fever pitch when a Johnston County sherriff Steve Bizzell made inflammatory comments about Latinos. "In a Sept. 7 story in The News & Observer, Bizzell referred to Mexicans as "trashy" and said Hispanics were "breeding like rabbits." He said a growing Hispanic population was committing crimes, sapping social services and threatening traditional culture."

But yesterday, approximately 30 religious leaders and supporters added their voices to a rising chorus of North Carolina residents -- many of them from outside traditional Hispanic advocacy circles-- stood shoulder-to-shoulder to call for acceptance of all immigrants, legal and otherwise.

"As a community, as a state, as a nation, as a world, we have done wrong," Rabbi Eric Solomon, of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, said of the recent treatment of immigrants. "All human beings are made in God's image."

"People really feel that it's now or never," said Rebecca Headen, racial justice coordinator of the ACLU. "They have to step out of the shadows."

Many were once leery of jumping into a heated topic that could alienate them from their neighbors and open them to attacks from opposing groups. But some say they now feel compelled to get involved, regardless of the backlash they might face.

Keep it up, North Carolina. We are standing with you!