‘I learned Mecklenburg County is not as safe as it was…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s newly elected sheriff, Garry McFadden, ended a 12-year partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, on the same morning he was sworn into office.
But in his haste to prove his illegal immigration sanctuary bona fides, McFadden may have triggered a far greater ICE presence than there ever was before.
Mecklenburg County encompasses the nearly one million resident city of Charlotte.
Ending the partnership program known as 287(g), which allowed sheriff’s deputies to cooperate with ICE agents, was a top campaign theme for McFadden, a Democrat.
The program allowed for local law enforcement deputies to check an immigration database to determine if arrested criminal suspects were in the country illegally.
If so, they could notify federal immigration authorities of inmate release dates and ICE agents could take custody of criminal illegals at the county jail.
Depending on the crimes, deportation proceedings could follow.
McFadden killed the program, ironically under the guise of public safety.
On Thursday, an Atlanta-based ICE field office director responded to McFadden’s decision, telling WBTV in Charlotte that area residents can now expect more of a visible ICE presence in their community.
“The Mecklenburg County sheriff’s decision to restrict cooperation with ICE serves as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that Mecklenburg County is now a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities,” the ICE director said.
In fiscal year 2018, the Mecklenburg County 287g program encountered 1,185 criminal aliens, the director said.
“Yesterday’s decision to end this law enforcement agreement efforts leaves them to reoffend against the people of Mecklenburg County,” he added.
JUST IN: ICE has sent me a statement in response to removal of #287g in Mecklenburg County.
— Amanda Foster WBTV (@AFosterWBTV) December 6, 2018
At a public law enforcement meeting last week, McFadden and Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney took aims to communicate their sanctuary policies to members of the area immigrant community.
Two ICE supervisors were identified sitting quietly in the crowd.
When asked what he had learned at the meeting, one of the ICE agents said, “I learned Mecklenburg County is not as safe as it was.”
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told WSOC in an interview that the agents were in attendance because McFadden stopped communicating with them after ending the 287(g) program.
“Given that the local officials are not giving us any type of information, we’re simply seeking to learn the same information they’re providing to the public. So that’s the simple reason we’re there,” said Cox.
Two recent ICE-coordinated mass raids in Boston and New Jersey may be precursors of what’s soon to come to Mecklenburg County.
In both cases, ICE was forced to ramp up its criminal alien enforcement practices due to sanctuary decisions similar to McFadden’s.
In Boston, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations agents arrested 58 illegal aliens during a five-day operation.
Approximately 30 of arrested illegals “had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses,” nine had previously been deported from the United States, and four had “active Interpol Red Notices,” meaning a foreign government requested them for extradition due to an active warrant.
Among the illegal aliens arrested were alleged and convicted drug dealers, murderers, robbers, and other criminals.
Even more concerning was that 15 arrested illegals swept up in the raid already had been arrested, but were released back to the streets because of sanctuary policies similar to killing 287(g) partnerships.
In New Jersey last week, 105 illegals were taken into ICE custody during a separate five-day raid.
Of those arrested during the operation, 80 percent had prior criminal convictions and-or pending criminal charges.
The arrestees included at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants to the U.S., and other immigration violators.
Drug dealers, child sex abusers and MS-13 gang members were among them.
“ICE will out of necessity have to conduct additional enforcement operations, if local police departments and county jails do not refer criminals and gang members they encounter to ICE for review and possible arrest on immigration violations,” an ICE statement said.