Spectrum News examines the recent crackdown on immigration and its impact on the lives and businesses of immigrants in America, in the one-hour special, "Immigration in America."
OUR IMMIGRATION TOWN HALL PANELISTS:
- Mayor Pro Tem of Morrisville Steve Rao
- Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison
- President of ALIPAC, William Gheen
- Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page
- Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition José Hernández-Paris
- Former undocumented immigrant, business owner and author Diane Stewart
NORTH CAROLINA IMMIGRATION FACTS:
· In the 2014-2015 academic year, more than 17,000 foreign students enrolled in NC colleges and universities. They contributed more than $458 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses. These students supported more than 6,200 jobs statewide.
· Immigrants make up 7.6 percent of the population in North Carolina but 10.5 percent of the state’s workforce, according to the census bureau.
· In 2013, undocumented immigrants in NC paid $275 million state and local taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy.
·Undocumented immigrants make up nearly 5 percent of North Carolina’s workforce.
·Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Carrboro and other cities and towns have welcoming initiatives for their municipality to foster immigrant integration and promote citizenship.
Here are the people we profile in "Immigration in America":
· We meet Ahed Festuk, a young Syrian activist fighting the Assad regime, who fled to the U.S. fearing for her life, and is now seeking asylum.
· In New York City we meet an undocumented worker hoping for a better life and a successful restaurateur who began as an undocumented worker and now proudly proclaims on every receipt that "Your meal was prepared by immigrants," a workforce that's critical to the restaurant industry.
· It's time for strawberry harvest in Florida, and we meet several undocumented workers who risk everything to pick the crops and make a living for their families and the farmers whose livelihood depend on those migrant workers.
· In Brooklyn we meet several immigrant doctors who have committed themselves to serving patients in our inner cities. Up to 20 percent of the physician workforce is comprised of immigrants who come to the U.S. on a J1 or H1B visa, and the nation's health care system is increasingly dependent on immigrant doctors.
· A woman whose mother brought her here when she was five, is now, because of the Dream Act, able to have a social security number, health insurance, and a job. Her mother is not that fortunate.
· In Upstate NY we meet members of an immigrant population that is flocking to cities like Utica, Syracuse and Buffalo. After losing jobs and population for decades due to shifts in manufacturing, these cities are now being re-vitalized as immigrants and refugees bring extended families and start new businesses.