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Commissioner Calls On ICE To Attend County Meeting, Says Immigrant Group Might Attend

Mecklenburg County

County Commissioner Jim Puckett is calling for additional security at Tuesday night's county commission meeting, including for the presence of sheriff's deputies and ICE agents, in the event that immigrant activists show up and cause disruptions,as they did during last week's city council meeting.

In an email to fellow commissioners, Puckett said he's heard "rumors" that activists were planning to mob Tuesday night's meeting and suggested the commission have sheriff's deputies and ICE agents on hand to help "maintain a proper level of civil discourse."

In an email, fellow County Commissioner Bill James agreed with Puckett.

"Clearly, those that showed up at the City Council were unruly and out of line," James wrote, "If we allow this group to do what they did to the City Council, we will be setting an inappropriate standard for other groups who will want the same lenience and ability to disrupt."

Reached by phone, Puckett said he wouldn't want ICE agents to arrest anyone, unless they became unruly.

"I have no problem with anyone coming and talking and telling us their concerns," Puckett said, "but when it gets threatening, then I at least want to have as much recourse against them as possible, and the presence of ICE may or may not do that for some."

Puckett also said ICE agents who attended would be given the chance to directly respond to activists and address their concerns face-to-face after the meeting.

Bryan Cox, a spokesman for ICE in the region, told the Charlotte Observer it's up to local officials to police their own meetings. He declined to comment on the possibility of having agents on site.

Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal