Photo: Gov. Pat McCrory
Organizations defending immigrants’ rights in North Carolina on Wednesday called remarks by Gov. Pat McCrory “irresponsible” after he asked for deportations of undocumented Central American children who come unaccompanied to this country to be speeded up.
“It’s the most irresponsible thing we could do, given that those children are refugees who have arrived here fleeing from danger in their countries. North Carolina is, and must continue to be, a state that welcomes all recently arrived people,” Armando Bellmas, the spokesman for the Charlotte-based Latin American Coalition, told Efe on Wednesday.
McCrory, a Republican, said Tuesday at a press conference that the situation of the undocumented children who have come to the United States alone “is not just a border issue any longer.”
Estimates by the federal government are that, of the roughly 57,000 minors who have arrived on the southern U.S. border, more than 1,200 - most of them from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador - have been sent to the Tar Heel State and placed in the care of relatives or sponsors.
“I’m worried about these children,” McCrory said, while adding: “If the numbers continue to increase at this rate, it could have a severe impact on the current resources that we have to take care of North Carolina children.”
He said the federal government has not provided information about the minors, who they are, where they come from and who will take care of them.
Meanwhile, the El Pueblo organization, based in the state capital of Raleigh, expressed “dismay” over the governor’s “continued misguided attempts to address federal immigration issues.”
“Gov. McCrory is sending a clear message that immigrants, even children who are fleeing violence, are unwelcome in North Carolina,” Angeline Echeverria, executive director of El Pueblo, said in a statement.
“The governor should work to ensure that all children who come to North Carolina, regardless of their immigration status, have the opportunity to grow up in safe, healthy communities,” she said.