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North Carolina bill to force sheriffs to work with ICE advances

connectVideoDemocrats push new proposal to reduce the number of beds in ICE detention centers

The authorities in North Carolina should keep suspects in jail as requested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement under a bill that cleared its first hurdle on Wednesday.

A House judiciary panel approved House Bill 370, a measure sponsored by North Carolina Republican legislators unhappy with the recent decisions of the newly elected aldermen to stop assisting federal immigration agents.

“This sanctuary sheriffs put politics ahead of public safety,” said Rep. Destin Hall, a key sponsor of the bill, said during a meeting of the commission.

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Hall’s bill would require sheriffs in all counties to fulfill ICE detainer requests, which can be used to criminal suspects for up to 48 hours. Those companies are not currently required.

“It doesn’t matter what these sheriffs do, ICE has a work to do,” Hall said Wednesday. “As sheriffs not to cooperate with them, they still have the duty to enforce federal immigration law, and they are going to do that. With the exception of, instead of in prison — a controlled environment that is far more secure — they are going to do it in the community.”

House Bill 370 would require sheriffs in North Carolina to fulfill ICE detainer requests, which can be used to criminal suspects for up to 48 hours. These companies are not currently required.
(AP photo)

The alderman elected last year in urban areas in and around Raleigh, Asheville and Durham have announced that they will not honor these requests.

In response to these actions, ICE stepped up immigration raids in the state as a result of reduced cooperation with the regional director of the calling of the increased presence of the “new normal” WRAL reported.

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Immigration lawyers and some state Democrats have opposed the measure, one legislator called it a “gross escape” by the government, to take power away from locally elected aldermen, The Winston-Salem Journal reported.

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“Who are we to tell that our elected police how they should behave,” Rep. Wesley Harris said during the hearing.

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People who are against the measure are already calls for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to veto a final bill that comes to him.

A spokesman for the governor told the Magazine that Cooper has “serious concerns” about the taking away of the local authority of sheriffs.

“The governor will review all legislation that comes to his desk, before taking a decision,” Cooper spokesman Jamal Little told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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