The General Assembly adjourned on August 31st after being forced to redraw legislative maps that were found to be unconstitutional by the federal courts, which is now reviewing the new maps. Political analysts in North Carolina are split on what the courts will do — approve the maps as redrawn or will the courts draw the legislative maps for the 2018 election? A federal court decision is expected in the fall. Candidate filing for legislative seats begins in February 2018 for a May 2018 primary. The general election is in November 2018.
El Pueblo staff members Angeline Echeverria and Iliana Santillan-Carrillo met with Matty Lazo-Chadderton and Sallie James, who are staff to Governor Roy Cooper, on September 7th. Felicia Arriaga and lobbyist Brian Lewis also attended the meeting, which came on the heels of the announcement by President Donald Trump to rescind the DACA executive order put in place by President Barack Obama in 2012.
El Pueblo expressed disappointment in a Tweet by Governor Cooper on the DACA announcement that was insensitive to the immigrant community devastated by the news. Governor Cooper expressed his concern for the families affected by President Trump’s decision in the Tweet, but used half of his message to call for greater border enforcement. Contrasted with the courageous announcement by Attorney General Josh Stein that North Carolina would join in a lawsuit on behalf of those covered by DACA left many in the community disappointed. El Pueblo even brought up the courage of UNC President Margaret Spellings, who once worked for President George W. Bush and wrote a supportive op-ed in the Washington Post supporting DACA unequivocally. El Pueblo asked for Governor Cooper to send a stronger message about DACA, something he did in an email to supporters the evening of August 7th.
In other news, Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender), a very anti-immigration legislator, resigned his seat on September 15th. Rep. Millis was a sponsor of most of the anti-immigration legislation in the General Assembly, including the push to impeach Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, because of allegations that notary public signors included undocumented North Carolinians. His replacement will be seated on October 4th when the General Assembly returns for another special session.