NC Senate passes legislation requiring sheriffs, federal immigration agencies work together

Updated: Jun. 24, 2019 at 11:28 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - House Bill 370 was passed Monday by the North Carolina Senate, pushing it forward to the state House where it will ultimately be determined if it becomes law.

The bill requires local sheriffs and law enforcement agencies to contact ICE or other federal immigration authorities if a person being arrested cannot provide proof of citizenship. If it is revealed that there are any outstanding ICE warrants for the individual, the local law enforcement agency will hold the individual for up to 48 hours so that ICE can conduct an interview.

“As the Sheriff of our state’s largest county, I am disappointed that our state lawmakers have voted to approve House Bill 370. The passing of HB370 mandates that each Sheriff’s Office report and detain individuals for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and sets the priorities for public safety in direct defiance of my constituents’ demands,” Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said.

The legislation comes after Governor Cooper spoke earlier in the day, criticizing the nature of the legislation and supporting the sheriff’s who have refused to comply with ICE during this time.

McFadden has remained outspoken in his dismissal of the bill and up until this point has refused to work with ICE in Mecklenburg County arrests.

“HB 370 will negatively impact public safety in Mecklenburg County, where I was elected with a clear mandate to stop honoring voluntary ICE detainers and to end the 287(g) program,” McFadden said. “HB370 threatens the trust that I have spent a career trying to build between law enforcement and the community, including the immigrant community. This is a dangerous experiment in playing politics with our public safety. The result is that our community will be less safe and more divided. For these reasons, I would strongly encourage the Governor to veto HB370.”

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