'Sanctuary' policy punishments narrowly clear N.C. House panel

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RALEIGH (AP) -- A Republican measure in part designed to penalize any North Carolina local governments with "sanctuary" policies toward immigration by withholding their tax dollars has narrowly cleared a House committee.

The judiciary panel voted 6-5 on Tuesday for the bill even after changes were made to prevent the loss of funds for cities and counties during a grace period.

Bill sponsor Rep. Harry Warren of Salisbury opposed the 60-day window but still urged passage of the bill as a deterrent to ensure compliance with federal and state immigration laws.

The measure passed despite criticisms by Democratic lawmakers and others that a provision making it more difficult for suspects unlawfully in the country to get out of jail while awaiting trial could face constitutional challenges. The bill now heads to another committee.

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