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Curiouser and curiouser

Alice_in_Wonderland.jpgA few weeks ago, a curious thing appeared on the NCGA website: a House Select Committee with the name “Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy” appeared. Along with it, a least a dozen other committees, which do not have a sibling in the Senate, also appeared.

All of this raises more than a few questions.

Putting aside the actual committee creation process for a moment, what exactly is the point of having a committee in a state legislature to address federal immigration policy? I know we have our disagreements with the GA from time to time, but surely they understand the difference between federal and state law. It has been clearly stated over and over again that immigration is a federal issue, not a state issue.

Secondly, why was the creation of this committee not publicly announced? Legislators usually love to announce the creation of committees – it’s kind of what they do. Select committees are usually created by each body, in this case, the House, to address specific issues and report their findings and any recommendations to the full body. Upon the completion of its specified tasks, a select committee is discharged from its duties and dissolved by the presiding officer of the parent body.

So, for example, if the House would like a committee to address the weight limits on our state’s roads, it may create within the House a select committee on state roads’ weight limits. Upon that committee’s report of its findings and recommendations, the House speaker would then disband the committee.

Given that select committees are expressly created to report back, exactly what does this committee think they are going to say to the full House? Somehow we doubt it will be “Immigration is a federal issue and the State has no role in crafting it.”

That is exactly what legislatures don’t do, so we’re eager to find out what is going on here – more to come.

Yes, it sometimes feels like we're in a Wonderland here in North Carolina, and Alice would fit right in. I will demurr, however, to which House member I would assign the Mad Hatter moniker.