Report critical of local, federal deportation partnership
A new study says a partnership between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials has "created a climate of racial profiling and community insecurity." Researchers at UNC School of Law say a program that allows local law enforcement officers in eight North Carolina communities to identify illegal immigrants and begin deportation proceedings has too many failings. The report released by North Carolina's ACLU says the 287g program is leading to racial profiling and making people afraid to report crimes. Mecklenburg County was an early participant in the program, but Sheriff Chipp Bailey says he's seen no evidence of profiling. However, he has heard concerns that immigrants are more reluctant to contact police. "We have meetings with the community advocates and those folks who are concerned about 287g so we can listen to what they're concerns are, we'll tell them what our concerns are and try to resolve it," says Bailey. The report also criticizes law enforcement agencies participating in 287g for focusing on minor violations as a way to catch illegal immigrants. Bailey says most of the illegal immigrants in the Mecklenburg County jail were arrested on misdemeanor charges and traffic violations. But he also says the county has deported 550 serious criminals through the program.