Protesters gathered Saturday for the 10th annual Moral March on Raleigh, North Carolina. The coalition, known as the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) included groups protesting injustice in virtually every sector of American society, including immigration.
The immigration group’s main criticism was N.C. General Assembly’s perceived anti-immigrant policies, specifically the recently-instituted House Bill 318. The bill, passed in October, prohibits certain documents to be used to “determine a person’s identification or residence for governmental and law enforcement purposes.”
According to protesters, this law does not allow Mexican nationals to use their Matricula Consular (an identification card issued to Mexican nationals residing outside of Mexico) to prove their legal status in the United States. As such, these Mexican nationals could be deported for minor traffic infractions or during hiring processes.
The protests also cover a wide variety of social issues, such as worker’s rights, race, LGBTQ rights, and voting rights. Lia Kaz, a protester present at the march, said:
“The protest is changing the moral consciousness of the state and it’s a leader for the South, as well as the rest of the country. Moral marches have been as far north as Connecticut and it’s really changing the way communities work together instead of against each for social progress.”
The local administration is more critical of the march, however, with N.C. GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse stating that:
“The Moral Monday crowd may be back, but their agenda is the same. Their agenda, backed by out of state labor unions and special interests, would raise taxes by billions, and their continued obstructionism is no way to move this state forward.”