Council Members Question CMPD Actions after ICE Arrests

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The debate over immigration enforcement got heated at Monday night’s Charlotte City Council meeting. It came out of an item to apply and accept a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Council member Braxton Winston used the opportunity to question Deputy Chief Jeff Estes about CMPD actions.

ICE arrested more than 200 undocumented immigrants in North Carolina last week, calling it a “new normal” after Sheriff Garry McFadden ended the 287(g) program in Mecklenburg County.

Some of those arrests happened along Eastway Drive on Wednesday.

Winston criticized CMPD for operating a traffic enforcement “Saturation Patrol” in the same area that night.

Deputy Chief Estes says the patrol was in response to a deadly crash in the area, but some on council criticized the move as creating fear in the community, while others defended CMPD.

“It makes it next to impossible, you know, to continue to build trust between the most fragile communities that we’re trying to reach,” Winston said in the meeting.

Council member Ed Driggs pushed back.

“This has been politicized and distorted in a way that undermines the ability of CMPD to do their mission,” Driggs said.

CMPD has tried to make it clear that officers do not enforce immigration law or ask people their citizenship status.