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.

Pedro Lopez was in seventh grade when a rumor began to spread through his school in 2008: Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were raiding Agriprocessors, the meatpacking plant where his parents worked, in his small hometown of Postville, Iowa.


Immigration advocates in Charlotte are raising concerns about the Trump administration's plan to expand fast-track deportations. A federal notice published Tuesday allows immigration officials to quickly deport some immigrants without some common due-process protections, including the right to an attorney and a hearing before a judge. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigrant communities across the U.S. were on edge Sunday as federal immigration raids were reportedly planned in several major cities. As of late Sunday morning, immigrant advocacy group Comunidad Colectiva had not reported any raids in Charlotte. 

Steve Harrison / WFAE

They were from countries from all over the world - such as Bhutan, Brazil, Eritera, Nepal, Togo and Ukraine.

Democrats in the statehouse joined the sheriffs of Mecklenburg, Wake, and Buncombe Counties today to condemn a measure that would force sheriffs to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

President Donald Trump

On Monday night, President Trump tweeted that  Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will begin removing “millions” of people next week who are in the country illegally.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden.
Logan Cyrus

Some North Carolina sheriffs, including Mecklenburg County’s, are opposing HB 370, a bill that would require them to cooperate more with federal immigration agents. The proposed legislation would also double the time to 96 hours that those arrested for other crimes and suspected of being in the country illegally, can be held in jail. Noncompliance could result in a sheriff being removed from office.

Two years ago, the Trump administration through the Justice Department changed policies making it tougher for migrants and refugees in the U.S. to be granted asylum.

One of the changes has created a growing backlog of pending cases in the courts -- with thousands of individuals seeking sanctuary status who now face deportation.

That includes one 21-year-old woman living in Henderson County. She’s fighting an order that would send her back to her native El Salvador, where she says a violent gang murdered her father and threatens to kill her, too.

Federico Rios, the city's immigration and integration manager, spoke to the city council Monday.
David Boraks / WFAE

City officials are drawing up recommendations for improved language services aimed at the city's immigrant communities. Those include a so-called "language-access plan," to make sure city services and written materials are available in the many languages spoken across the city. 

North Carolina House Republicans have pushed through legislation requiring all county sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration agents, particularly by complying with written requests to hold defendants.

North Carolina Sheriff's Association

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

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A move by several newly-elected North Carolina sheriffs to no longer honor requests from immigration agents to detain suspects has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers. In February, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced the change saying it’s vital that immigrants can call the sheriff’s office without fear. 

Backed by North Carolina Republican lawmakers, a bill that would require local sheriff's offices to hold immigrant defendants in county jails is advancing through the General Assembly. The move comes after newly elected sheriffs have come through on campaign promises to sever ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The superintendent of North Carolina's largest school system is telling its immigrant students who are in the country illegally and their families that they will protect their rights in light of a recent surge in immigration arrests.

Photo courtesy of Jose Antonio Vargas

Every day, immigrants living in the country illegally try to avoid detection. That fear of being found out has increased among many immigrants in North Carolina after a series of arrests by immigration officials last month.

Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

After activists criticized Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles for not condemning federal immigration raids last week, Lyles on Monday released a "Letter to the Community" that tried to address the issue.

Sil Ganzo of Charlotte told council members she can't tell the children she works with they are safe in Charlotte.
Charlotte Government Channel

Dozens of people packed the city council chamber Monday night calling on the city to do more to show support for the city's immigrant community. Resident Melba Evans questioned why Mayor Vi Lyles had not joined other North Carolina mayors in condemning recent raids by Immigration and Custom Enforcement, that resulted in the arrests of more than 200 people that ICE says are in the country illegally.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Prince Ramirez’s baby is due in a week. She and her husband have a name picked out.

“Oyuki Selene”

Ramirez, originally from Mexico, now lives in Charlotte with her husband and children who are U.S. citizens. Since she’s pregnant and a permanent resident with a green card, she’s eligible for Medicaid. But she’s nervous about signing up.

More than 6-in-10 Americans disapprove of President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency so he can build barriers along the U.S border with Mexico, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.