Group of NC Mayors Sign Letter Condemning ICE

‘If they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, my officers will take an enforcement action…’

Group of NC Mayors Sign Letter Condemning ICE

Steve Schewel / IMAGE: CityofDurhamNC via Youtube

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 200 illegal aliens in the state of North Carolina.

But according to seven mayors in the Tar Heel State, that’s a bad thing—and they’ve signed a letter condemning it.

The letter, written by Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and signed by six other mayors, called for ending ICE raids, according to an article from the News and Observer.

Schewel stated the raids had “struck terror” in the hearts of “many of our valued community members” and alleged they had broken up families and separated parents from their children, which tends to happen when individuals are arrested.

The other mayoral signees: Nancy Vaughan (Greensboro), Esther Manheimer (Asheville), Mitch Colvin (Fayetteville), Pam Hemminger (Chapel Hill), Ian Baltutis (Burlington) and Lydia Lavelle (Carrboro).

All are Democrats who run solidly blue municipalities.

ICE said the raids are the “new normal” after sheriffs’ departments announced they were no longer cooperating with the agency through the 287(g) program.

Because illegal aliens can no longer be picked up at safe locations like jails, agents must go into the neighborhoods where they illegally reside.

“If they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, my officers will take an enforcement action,” said Sean Gallagher, the field office director for ICE Atlanta.

The letter from the mayors conceded that they are powerless to stop the agency from pursuing its mission.

“We cannot stop ICE from operating in our cities, but we can and must speak out against these raids which destabilize neighborhoods, traumatize children, hurt many innocent people, and create distrust of law enforcement,” it read. “The negative collateral consequences of these raids on our cities is enormous.”

The recent large-scale arrests were made following Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden’s cancellation of the 287(g) program.

In doing so, he followed the decisions of sheriffs in Wake and Durham counties, who are now also seeing increased ICE activity.