Over the first weekend of 2016, federal immigration agents raided homes in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. They detained people thought to be illegal immigrants – primarily from Central America. The raids have prompted an outcry from Hispanic and Latino advocacy groups and a letter, signed by 130 Congressional Democrats, calling for an end to the raids.
During his final State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama called once more for immigration reform and criticized the tone of the discussion among Republican presidential candidates. The President made no mention of the recent raids.
In the GOP response to the President’s speech, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley attempted to change the tone of the national conversation. As the daughter of Indian immigrants who lived in the rural south, she says she knows what it’s like to not look like one’s neighbors:
According to the last U.S. Census, Hispanic people make up 9% of the population in North Carolina.
On this edition of CoastLine, we learn more about the local immigrant population – who they are and where they come from, the challenges they face assimilating, and how the recent anti-immigrant sentiment might be manifesting itself here.
Helen Tarokic, a North Carolina Board Certified Immigration Law Specialist