North Carolina’s general Assembly crafted an immigration bill called the Reclaim NC Act this session that Governor McCrory vetoed last week. North Carolina Farm Bureau has been very active in immigration reform at both the state and federal level, and Peter Daniel, Assistant to the President, NC Farm Bureau has had hands-on involvement, and outlines the history of the need for the bill:
“Two years ago the General Assembly decided, in frustration over Congress not fixing the broken immigration system, that the state needed to tighten up the employment laws when it came to identifying domestic workers. So they set in to place a cascading requirement of e-verification of those who hire more than 25 employees.”
And to make matters worse, according to Daniel, NC state law and federal law contradict one another:
“In doing this they set up a 90 day exemption for temporary seasonal workers for agriculture and it has turned out not to be long enough. And the federal voluntary e-verification system does not recognize an agricultural seasonal worker exemption. Farmers are in a bind either honoring their commitment to the federal government or honoring state law and being in violation with the federal government.”
And that’s where the Reclaim NC Act bill came in explains Daniel:
“This bill, the Reclaim NC Act, helps address that issue for the farming community. Anytime a state enters into federal immigration policy, there are unintended consequences. Here, they are farmers being in violation of either commitments to federal government or the state laws.”
In Governor McCrory’s interviews with the press, his reasoning for vetoing the Reclaim NC Act was that the bill could take jobs away from domestic workers needing a job. Daniel says that’s simply not the case:
“The domestic supply of agricultural workers as collapsed. Ten years ago, we could hire domestically, to day that’s not the case.”
So, several farm groups in the state, as well as NC Farm Bureau are working on overriding McCrory’s veto says Daniel, and should have a letter crafted and sent to the governor next week.
Assistant to the president of North Carolina Farm Bureau, Peter Daniel.