New Concerns In Charlotte’s Immigrant Community

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  New concerns in Charlotte’s immigrant community, after a bill filed Thursday in the State Legislature would force sheriffs to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

House Bill 370 requires sheriffs to cooperate with ICE officials trying to detain illegal immigrants charged with a crime. It also makes it illegal for a county to prohibit ICE officials from doing immigration enforcement in county jails, confinement facilities or other types of detention centers.

Local community activists are upset.

“Our communities are not backing down. We will not stand for this and we will keep fighting, we’re not going to let this bill pass,” says Jessica Moreno with Action NC.

Sheriff Garry McFadden ended the 287 (g) program in Mecklenburg county when he took office in December. That allowed deputies to run an arrested suspect’s name through an immigration database to determine if they’re undocumented. A few weeks later, ICE arrested 200 migrants in North Carolina some were in Mecklenburg County.

ICE blames more street roundups on Sheriff McFadden ending 287 (g). The sheriff gave a list of ways the jail still works with ice: Handing over fingerprints, verifying legal status in felony and impaired driving cases and lets ice interview inmates who are wanted on ICE warrants.

Republican State House speaker Tim Moore is one of the sponsors.

He says:  “If the law-abiding citizens of North Carolina are subject to enforcement of state and federal law, then illegal immigrants detained for committing crimes should be too.”