SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins has released a statement condemning raids made across the country by Immigration Customs Enforcement.
“There have been reports of ICE Raids taking place across counties in NC,” Mayor Heggins wrote. “Presently, I have not been informed of or know about any raids that have taken place here in Rowan County or in Salisbury."
"My message to our immigrant residents is this; you live in a City that respects and values your contributions to our community.”
During a press conference earlier this month, ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher announced that increased enforcement activity will happen.
According to ICE, the “new normal” is to expect more visible ICE presence in the community, Gallagher said last week, following 200 arrests across North Carolina.
Criminal offenders are being released back into the community, Gallagher says. The recent arrests include at least a dozen in Charlotte.
ICE says they make around 50 arrests per week in the area and that the recent uptick is a result of new sheriff’s office policies that are “dangerous.”
In her statement, Salisbury Mayor Heggins said that she stands with mayors who are opposed to the raids.
“The City of Salisbury and our police department do not participate in ICE raids,” Mayor Heggins wrote. "If ICE is planning a raid in the Salisbury community, we have not been told.
“Please know, that if you are the victim of a crime or if you should need emergency assistance, our police and fire departments are here to serve you.”
“Recently, NC Mayors from Durham, Ashville, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Burlington, Chapel Hill and Carrboro issued a letter stating their opposition to the ICE raids that have swept through NC and called on ICE officials to cease these raids because it is detrimental to the welcoming, stable, loving communities that we work everyday to build.”
“I, too, stand with these mayors.”