© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics

Trump Administration Continues Attacks On Mecklenburg Sheriff

ken_cuccinelli.JPG
United States Department of Homeland Security [Public domain]

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, criticized Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden Wednesday in Charlotte for his refusal to honor jail detainers from the federal government.

Cuccinelli spoke to the media after dedicating a new 31,000 square-foot immigration office in Charlotte. 

He and other federal officials – including Vice President Mike Pence -  have increasingly criticized McFadden, who ended the 287(g) partnership with the federal government last year.

Other North Carolina sheriffs are also refusing to hold people in jails at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Cuccinelli said McFadden has been “the most aggressive” in not working with ICE.

"He’s literally releasing child rapists and sexual abusers," Cucinelli said. "This is unbelievable. Attempted murder. I’m just going back a year or two. This is not the 1980s. This is last year. This is 2019. "

Last month ICE said McFadden compromised public safety when the Sheriff’s Office released from jail a Honduran national who had been arrested on first-degree rape and indecent liberties with a minor charges. ICE said it has since arrested the man.

"As a former attorney general, the acting director is aware that I have the discretion to not  honor a voluntary agreement, which is not a failure to cooperate with another law enforcement agency to enforce the law.  I took an oath and I’m required to uphold the oath of my Office and enforce the law.  Not participating in 287(g) is not refusing to enforce the law," McFadden said today. 

McFadden has said that cooperating with ICE hurts local law enforcement’s relationship with the area’s immigrant community. He has said that it’s not his job to set bail and determine when suspects can be released.

Cucinnelli, a former Virginia attorney general, is known as one of the most hard-line members of the Trump administration on immigration.