CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Immigration and Customs Enforcement, mostly known as ICE, has responded just one day after Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden ended the 287(g) program that allowed ICE to operate within the Mecklenburg County Jail.
The voluntary federal program has allowed ICE to operate within the jail since 2006. According to the sheriff’s office, Mecklenburg was one of only 78 counties nationwide - out of more than 3,000 - that had the voluntary arrangement.
On Thursday, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher provided a statement in response to the decision.
Gallagher said the decision to end the program means residents should expect a more visible ICE presence in Charlotte.
Sheriff McFadden pledged he would end the program while he was running for office. The morning after being sworn in, he notified ICE he was doing just that.
Now that McFadden has put pen to paper Wednesday, 287g, which existed in Mecklenburg County for 12 years, is no more.
Activists claim the program targeted immigrants, sometimes using speeding tickets and misdemeanors, without proving guilt of the crimes. These rumors were repeatedly denied by outgoing sheriff Irwin Carmichael.
Back in May, a spokesperson told WBTV, an end to 287g could mean further enforcement.
They said since they wouldn’t encounter illegal immigrants in the jail system, they could seek them out once they have been released back into the community, and they wouldn’t turn a blind eye to others they encounter there, in the process.
Sheriff McFadden says he’s received personal threats in response to the removal of the program from Mecklenburg County.