Frustrated by the release of hundreds of criminal illegal aliens in North Carolina, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is posting some of their mug shots on billboards around Charlotte and Asheville.
“These individuals were previously arrested or convicted of crimes in the U.S. but were released into the community instead of being transferred to ICE custody pursuant to an immigration detainer,” the agency stated.
The billboards, which highlight crimes ranging from drug dealing to rape to homicide, ask the public to contact ICE with information about the criminals’ whereabouts.
FAIR reported last fall that ignoring detainer requests has become a regular practice in several jurisdictions across the Tar Heel State. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in Charlotte failed to comply with more than 200 ICE detainers in 2019.
Across North Carolina, local authorities refused to honor more than 500 detainers for foreign nationals in 2019, the latest year for which figures were available. All of the detainer refusals involved persons arrested by a law enforcement agency for a criminal offense beyond their violation of federal immigration law.
Though most of North Carolina’s 100 counties cooperate with ICE, and a few counties have joined a new Warrant Service Officer program that authorizes local law enforcement officers to serve federal administrative warrants and transfer detainees into ICE custody, Gov. Roy Cooper has proven to be a stumbling block.
House Bill 370, passed by the state Legislature in 2019, would have required all sheriffs’ offices to honor ICE detainers. But Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the measure. He said the law-enforcement legislation was “simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina.”
Judging by the crimes displayed on ICE’s billboards, North Carolinians have reason to fear for public safety in their state’s non-cooperative counties, and beyond.