RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden says he is opposed to a revised bill that would require local sheriffs to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Sheriff McFadden says he is opposed to NC House Bill 370, although a revised proposal considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that would require arrestees with an ICE detainer to appear before a magistrate judge drew the support of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association.
The original bill was approved by a 63-51 vote of the state House of Representatives in April. HB370 was also approved by the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House.
Sheriff McFadden provided a statement in response to the revised bill Wednesday evening.
The legislation also requires sheriffs’ offices to track and report the number of queries they make to federal officials under its provisions.
Rep. Destin Hall (R-Caldwell) noted an ongoing controversy in Mecklenburg County, where a previously deported illegal immigrant charged with crimes including assault on a female, communicating threats, felony larceny, simple assault, and injury to personal property, was released despite an ICE detainer.
In April, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association (NCSA) released a statement urging the NC General Assembly not to enact the original bill, but on Wednesday, the Sheriffs’ Association provided a press release saying they were in support of the revised bill.
Eddie Caldwell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, thanked the bill sponsors for their work on the revised proposal and said in committee that his organization supports the bill.
“It is the Association’s position that this edition of House Bill 370 provides an appropriate and careful balance under the Constitution for the rights of the accused and for the public safety of our communities,” the Sheriffs’ Association said in a release Wednesday. “For these reasons, the Association supports – high priority enactment of this edition of House Bill 370 by the North Carolina General Assembly,” the release said.