‘This is about people who have already been arrested for a crime…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A North Carolina sheriff reiterated his refusal to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday as an agency official visited Charlotte to voice his public safety concerns.
Tim Robbins, the Executive Association Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, urged McFadden to honor ICE detainers to improve public safety, WBTV reported.
ICE issues detainers to state and local law enforcement and requests that they hold suspects, who are charged with state crimes and illegally residing in the United States, for 48 hours so that ICE can arrest them for deportation proceedings.
McFadden said that he will hold illegal aliens if federal immigration authorities obtain criminal warrants for them, but that he will not comply with ICE detainers.
“He’s asking for a thing that does not exist,” Robbins said, adding that ICE issues detainers rather than criminal warrants because deportation is a civil, rather than a criminal, process.
“At the end of the day, this is about community safety,” Robbins said. “This is about people who have already been arrested for a crime.”
In addition to barring cooperation between ICE and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, McFadden ended the federal 287(g) program, which equips local law enforcement to “check someone’s immigration status and enforce a limited amount of immigration laws,” WBTV reported.
WBTV received data from ICE showing that Mecklenburg County’s participation in the 287(g) program helped remove criminal illegal aliens from Charlotte.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, ICE removed 345 illegal aliens who were charged or convicted of a crime in Mecklenburg County.
Then McFadden assumed office and ended the program as his first official act.
During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, ICE removed only 64 illegal aliens who were charged or convicted of a crime in Mecklenburg County.
“It’s something that piques your ears, makes you want to actually wonder why a law enforcement officer wouldn’t want to work with you to make their community safer,” Robbins said.