NC Sheriff Ends Partnership with ICE; Releases Prisoners

‘The sheriff is not going to be honoring those requests of detaining individuals from ICE…’

Multiple Illegal Entries, Attacks on Police, Get Alien Only a Year in Prison

Immigration and Customs Enforcement/PHOTO: ICE

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) There’s a new sheriff in town – and that might not be a good thing for one North Carolina county.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, who took office just a little over a week ago, is following through on his promise to end his department’s cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), reported WRAL News.

He’s already kept his promise, already having released 16 people from prison – all of whom had been under ICE detainers.

Then again, Wake County residents only have themselves to blame.

After all, Baker’s pledge to end the partnership with ICE may have been the main reason he got elected.

He thinks the change will help foster greater relations between law enforcement and the Hispanic community.

“At this point, the sheriff is not going to be honoring those requests of detaining individuals from ICE,” said Rick Brown, an attorney for the sheriff’s department.

More prisoners could be released.

Another 79 people are still in custody on state charges, but Sheriff Baker says he won’t be honoring those ICE detainers either.

And after all, they’re just requests, which he has no obligation to honor.

Said Brown: “Since that is a voluntary program, we withdrew from that. The detainers themselves, as we looked at those, are, again, requests. They are not court ordered. If they were court ordered, we’d have to abide by it.”

Generally, ICE detainers allow immigration enforcement agents to pick up fugitives from jails, which is safer for everyone involved.

By not honoring them, ICE has to conduct more of their activities in local communities – which the agency pointed out in a statement in response to Baker’s decision.

“[R]esidents should expect a more visible ICE presence in the Raleigh-Durham area, as ICE will now have no choice but to conduct more at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites,” read the statement.

It seems like ICE will continue to carry out its mission in Wake County – even if it won’t get any help from the sheriff.