Sheriff speaks out against newly passed immigration bill - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Sheriff speaks out against newly passed immigration bill

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Sheriff Batten says he, and others, were told the Reclaim North Carolina Act would give immigrants 90 days to prove they are here legally. Sheriff Batten says he, and others, were told the Reclaim North Carolina Act would give immigrants 90 days to prove they are here legally.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten is backing the Governor and blasting lawmakers who he says did not stand up against illegal immigration.

Sheriff Batten says he, and others, were told the Reclaim North Carolina Act would give immigrants 90 days to prove they are here legally. But the final version, which the governor vetoed expanded that time limit to nine months.

Governor McCrory publicly said Batten and others supported his veto, encouraging lawmakers to do the same. 

Instead, the majority voted to over ride the governor and put the nine month timeframe into play.

Batten believes many state lawmakers are catering to special interest groups, who Batten says whine and complain about not having enough workers.

"If they're working illegal employees that are there and here illegally and they have criminal records and they're sex offenders and other people out there working under the same status and they're working for these employees, and if they commit a crime and rape a child or person within area where they're working...I feel like they should be held completely accountable for their actions," said Batten. 

He says another issue he has with the bill is that it puts driver's licenses in the hands of illegal citizens. Others say the illegal's will have permits and not full-fledged licenses. 

The bill became law Wednesday. 

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