The Legislature has formed a new committee. The House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy was established earlier this week to address state immigration policy and enforcement. Co-Chairs of the new committee will be Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick) and Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan). The committee will be made up of six Republicans and three Democrats and will meet for the first time in December. Both Iler and Warren were sponsors of legislation that would have barred illegal aliens from attending North Carolina community colleges.
The timing of the announcement and the choice of a select committee is certainly curious. While immigration remains a charged issue in many areas of North Carolina, one would naturally ask why seek to address the issue now? Also, the choice of a select committee seems to suggest law makers don’t view the issue as ongoing. As a select committee, committee jurisdiction is limited and expires at the end of the session. Committee goals seem modest; review existing policy, immigration policies in other states and make recommendations for improvements. With elections on the horizon, it is doubtful the committee will be the source of controversial recommendations or legislation. All in all, it seems like a perfect way for politicians to say they are addressing the issue without doing anything.