NC Sheriffs' Association Opposes Bill Requiring Cooperation With ICE

Apr 3, 2019

The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association says it opposes a bill that would compel sheriffs around the state to honor ICE detainers.

Credit North Carolina Sheriff's Association

The proposed legislation (House Bill 370) was introduced by state Republicans after several progressive sheriffs in North Carolina stopped honoring ICE detainers in recent months. The detainers are used to hold inmates at county jails for up to 48 hours for ICE agents to pick them up and place them into deportation proceedings.

Mecklenburg County's sheriff, Garry McFadden, is among the group of new sheriffs in North Carolina who are refusing to honor the detainer requests.

[Related: Fact Check: ICE Detainer Requests, Are They Valid Warrants?]

In a statement, the Sheriffs' Association says federal law gives these sheriffs the prerogative to either honor or decline ICE detainers, and any attempt by lawmakers to mandate how sheriffs must interact with ICE would be an "unwise encroachment" on their responsibilities.

"The people of each county, as reflected by the decision of their elected sheriff, should retain the ability to decide which lawful method they will utilize in complying with existing federal and state law," the statement read.

The association says while it is opposed to illegal immigration and supports enforcement of the laws against illegal immigration, the proposed bill "is not the appropriate method to address this very important issue."