A long-awaited immigration court will open in Charlotte on Nov. 4, and it's about time, said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C.
“We've been working on it seven years, almost going on eight now,” she said Thursday.
Myrick has been fighting to get the court to ease the red tape for people who want to live in the United States legally.
“We have a backlog of 500 to 600 cases in our office any one day that we are trying to help,” she said.
Last year, North Carolina had 2,883 cases in immigration court, but those involved had to travel to Atlanta to see a judge.
That’s an expensive burden, said members of the Latin American Coalition. The organization said many of those people come to the Charlotte office for help.
Adriann Galvez Taylor said some would just opt not to go.
“Or they self represent without having the knowledge they need to provide a just defense,” she said.
Taylor and Myrick agree having a court nearby will make it easier to help those who want to live under the law. But Taylor warns, “Right now, there is a real imbalance between justice and enforcement, and this is the danger."
She worries some might celebrate it as a deportation court and create an environment where people may become scared to seek help.
“We definitely don't want to see that type of mood in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Taylor said.