Legislation that would force all North Carolina sheriffs to detain suspects for up to 48 hours when requested by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is soon heading to the floor of the state House.
In a divided vote, the House Rules Committee Monday approved the measure backed by Speaker Tim Moore and other Republicans. The bill was introduced after several recently-elected Democratic sheriffs announced they would no longer honor the ICE detainers. One of those sheriffs is Mecklenburg County’s Garry McFadden, who spoke during Monday’s meeting.
“If you want my people to hold these people in jail, bring me a warrant, not a detainer,” McFadden said. “Because if I wanted to hold somebody for a murder, I could just call another city and say ‘can you detain him for a minute and let me sign a consent to search.’"
McFadden accused the committee of being misinformed and using scare tactics in passing the legislation. Video of the meeting in which McFadden can be heard addressing the committee was posted on Twitter by Mecklenburg County Commissioner Ray McKinnon.
— Ray S. McKinnon (@raymackformeck) April 1, 2019
Bill sponsor Rep. Destin Hall, R-Caldwell County, has said a few "sanctuary sheriffs" are putting politics ahead of public safety by not honoring the ICE detainers. Immigrant advocates are already urging Gov. Roy Cooper to veto any final bill that reaches his desk.
Shortly after his election in November, McFadden also stopped Mecklenburg County’s participation in the federal 287(g) program, which allowed sheriff’s deputies to notify ICE when someone brought to jail was found to be living in the country illegally.