A new report is revealing that nearly 500 illegal immigrants facing detainers filed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were released from custody in North Carolina.
The report — first published by WBTV on Monday — looks at data from ICE that has covered the fiscal year of 2019, which began in October of 2018. It shows that law enforcement in the Tar Heel State declined 489 detainers from the federal immigration agency.
Detainers are requests from federal law enforcement agencies to local ones requesting that a person be held in custody even if they are allowed to be released on a state charge.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden announced that his office would not be taking part in the 287(g) program shortly after being elected last year.
The 287(g) program grants local law enforcement some authority when it came to immigration laws. The sheriff also said that his office would not be honoring ICE detainers.
McFadden had stirred controversy last month after ICE apprehended an illegal immigrant who was released from custody in Mecklenburg County after being arrested on child sex offense charges and rape.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) released a statement on the issue, calling on Congress to pass his legislation to “hold sanctuary counties responsible” for not working with federal immigration authorities.
“North Carolina counties are releasing illegal immigrants charged with violent crimes like rape and murder without even notifying federal officials, jeopardizing public safety. This is why Congress needs to pass legislation I introduced to protect North Carolinians from dangerous criminals and to hold sanctuary counties responsible for refusing to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.”
“Seriously NC???” tweeted Cuccinelli. “And how does protecting […] ‘the nearly 500 undocumented immigrants who have been released in FY19 despite a federal detainer include people charged with sex offenses, kidnapping, arson and homicide.’ […] keep [North Carolina] safe? Oh yeah, it doesn’t.”