The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) announced they will be stepping up raids on illegal aliens in North Carolina.
According to WBTV, ICE Atlanta field office Director Sean Gallagher said that sheriff’s in the areas with policies allowing illegal aliens to go free without notifying ICE should consider these raids to be the ‘new normal’.
Recent raids by ICE in the Raleigh-Durham area has netted close to 200 arrests.
WBTV reported that the recent raids include 50 suspects with criminal convictions, 40 suspects with pending criminal charges, and 50 who were previously deported but had re-entered the U.S. illegally.
The increased activity by ICE in the Tarheel state is a direct response to response to sheriff’s from Durham, Orange, Wake, and Mecklenburg counties refusing to comply with the 287g Program which requires placing detainers on illegal aliens who are arrested.
“Residents should expect a more visible ICE presence in the Raleigh-Durham area,” said ICE’s Gallagher. “ICE will now have no choice but to conduct more at large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests instead of arrests at the jail where enforcement is safer for everyone involved.”
Watch a portion of the ICE press conference:
Wake County Sheriff Gerrald Baker said when it comes to making an arrest, he ‘doesn’t see any difference’ between a legal citizen and an illegal alien.
“It makes no difference whether a person is here in this county legally or illegally,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker. If he or she breaks the law in this county, then they will be arrested and prosecuted just like anybody else.”
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood’s response was to deny that his county had ever been involved in the 287g Program.
Durham’s sheriff seemed to balk at the idea of more paperwork of a ‘new arrest’ associated with applying a detained to an illegal alien already arrested for a crime in his jurisdiction.
“ICE is a federal agency,” said Durham Sheriff Birkhead. “They have the authority obviously to enforce federal law and civil law but if they want me to hold someone under a detainer I’m not going to do that because that amounts to a new arrest and that arrest should be based and for me must be based on probable cause.”
The sheriff’s from Durham, Orange, Wake, and Mecklenburg counties are all Democrats.
Orange County’s Sheriff Blackwood and Mecklenburg’s Sheriff McFadden ran unopposed in 2018.
Durham’s Sheriff Birkhead unseated the incumbent Mike Andrews in the 2018 primary before his win in November.
Wake County’s sheriff Donnie Harrison, who served in the county for 16 years, was unseated by Gerald Baker.
The nearly 200 arrests in the last week included 60 persons who were not specifically targeted but were detained because they could not produce proof of their citizenship or identity.
ICE has stated in the past that “ICE does not conduct any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement; the agency focuses first and foremost on criminal offenders and other public safety threats.”
In the week prior to the latest raid reported by WBTV, 27 illegal aliens were arrested in Sanford, North Carolina.
ICE Spokesman Bryan Cox gave WBTV data showing 15,189 arrests of illegal aliens by the Atlanta Field Office which covers North Carolina.
According to that arrest data, 9,490 (62%) were convicted of criminal offenses and the rest were being detained due to pending charges.
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