Nearly 500 Illegal Aliens Have Been Released From North Carolina Jails, Despite ICE Detainers

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Detention centers across North Carolina have released hundreds of illegal aliens in their custody, defying detainer requests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Local authorities in North Carolina have released nearly 500 undocumented immigrants in the past 10 months. A total of 489 detainers were ignored by the state law enforcement officials, according to data provided by ICE. The ten months cover the duration of the 2019 fiscal year, which began in October of last year and ends this September.

Details of the ignored detainer requests were first reported by WBTV.

“The level of criminal aliens intentionally released into Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties is alarming, but even worse is that the true extent of this dangerous trend may never be fully realized,” a senior Homeland Security official said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “If an illegal alien is arrested for a crime and is then released by local law enforcement without ever alerting ICE officials, a lifted detainer will never be registered in our systems and the alien may only come to our attention once it’s too late.”

Jailed Man. Shutterstock

Jailed Man. Shutterstock

Some the charges against the released illegal aliens in North Carolina included homicide, kidnapping, arson and sex offenses.

Detainers are requests made by ICE to local authorities. When an undocumented illegal alien is arrested for an unrelated crime, federal immigration authorities will lodge a detainer request to the detention center holding the suspect, asking them to hold the individual for no longer than 48 hours in order to allow an agent to reach the facility and apprehend the individual.

However, in the face of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, many left-leaning states and jurisdictions have enacted policies that largely limit how local authorities can cooperate with ICE. Many localities have passed “sanctuary” laws that prohibit police from honoring ICE detainers, claiming that the apprehension of illegal aliens is solely the responsibility of the federal government.

Such battles have taken place within North Carolina. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden declared that he would no longer honor detainer requests from ICE. The federal agency has since responded by releasing a list of 22 illegal aliens released by Mecklenburg County, many of whom had been charged with heinous crimes such as rape and assault. (RELATED: ‘Absurd, Insulting’: Immigration Experts Skewer Sanctuary County Leader For Pushing False Info Following Violent Rapes)

North Carolina’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill that called on local law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, legislation that would effectively end and prevent sanctuary policies within the state. However, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill, accusing it of being “unconstitutional” and divisive for constituents.

The veto has allowed Mecklenburg and other sanctuary areas to continue ignoring requests from ICE.

“The reality is that when they obstruct federal law enforcement’s mission of upholding our nation’s laws and keeping American’s safe, the people who lose most are those they’re supposed to put first,” the DHS official continued.

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