29 NC Sheriffs Sign Letter Urging Biden To Stop Influx Of Migrants At U.S.-Mexico Border
Sheriffs from across the country, including 29 in North Carolina, have signed a letter urging President Biden to address the influx of migrants at the United States' southern border.
There’s been a surge in migrants arriving at the border over the past few months. More than 170,000 were reportedly taken into custody in March.
In the letter to the president, dozens of sheriffs from across the country warned Biden that violent crime will escalate if more isn’t done to stem the flow. They’re urging him to resume building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and embrace border policies from the Trump administration. They do not say specifically which ones.
“You must act now before our nation’s public safety resources are overwhelmed with the criminal side effects of unchecked illegal immigration, including transnational gangs, guns, dangerous drugs and human trafficking,” the group of sheriffs wrote in a press release. “America’s Sheriffs urge you, Mr. President, to reverse course and help us protect our communities by securing the southern border. Both the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations recognized the threats and dangers presented by illegal immigration. It is critically important that you see it as well.”
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden did not sign the letter, but several sheriffs in the metro area did, including those in Cabarrus, Iredell and Union counties.
The letter was signed by these North Carolina sheriffs at the same time new immigration legislation is passing through the General Assembly. Senate Bill 101, also called "Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0," would force local law enforcement agencies to search the immigration status of anyone booked into jails for a criminal charge. If they can’t do the search, law enforcement agencies would have to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement to do it. If the person in jail is in the country illegally, under a detainer, they would be held in custody for 48 hours or until ICE proceeds. Right now, compliance with such detainers is voluntary.
Similarly, House Bill 62, which punishes local officials for violating North Carolina’s anti-sanctuary law, advanced the same day as SB 101.
Charlotte's McFadden has notably rejected collaborating with ICE. He has stated in the past that using sheriff's offices’ resources to enforce immigration laws wasn’t their job and that any collaboration with ICE would instill fear in the community.
Thousands of children and families have arrived at the border in the past months. The Biden administration is refusing entry to adults and families traveling together, but it’s declined to resume the Trump-era practice of expelling unaccompanied children.