‘An Affront To The Rule Of Law’: DHS, ICE Leaders Highlight Dangers Of Sanctuary Policies

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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The top leaders of DHS and ICE visited Raleigh, North Carolina on Monday to discuss immigration enforcement with local elected officials and to hear from people whose relatives died at the hands of illegal aliens.

Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Matthew Albence, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) visited North Carolina’s capital to speak out against local law enforcement officials who have refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Such policies, Wolf and Albence argued, put politics before safety.

“Sanctuary city policies do not protect communities — they endanger them. They are an affront to the rule of law, our Constitution, and they go against every instinct we have as law enforcement professionals,” Wolf tweeted on Monday after the event.

The visit marked the latest shot between ICE and Democratic sheriffs in the state who have chosen not to honor ICE detainer requests, allowing instead for criminal illegal aliens to return to the community.

U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew T. Albence Testifies Before House Appropriations Committee

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthew Albence (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

ICE revealed in September that, during the 2019 fiscal year, local authorities across North Carolina ignored a total of 489 detainer requests. Some of the illegal aliens released included individuals charged with homicide, kidnapping, arson, and sex offenses.

Detainers are requests made by ICE agents to local authorities that have an illegal alien in their custody. When an undocumented alien is arrested for an unrelated crime, the agency 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 ICE agent to reach the facility and make an apprehension.

However, several newly elected Democratic sheriffs in North Carolina have announced their intention to not honor ICE detainer requests, arguing that such issues are solely problems for the federal government to handle.

For example, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller ignored an ICE detainer request for an illegal alien convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old, and did not even notify the agency of the individual’s release in October. The following month, ICE announced that Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden ignored a detainer and allowed an illegal alien to be released back into the community, despite a charge of felony death relating to a driving accident.

North Carolina’s GOP-controlled state legislature passed a bill that would mandate local law enforcement officials to cooperate with ICE, but Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it in August, claiming the legislation was “simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina.” (RELATED: ‘Sanctuary’ Sheriff Ignoring Calls And Emails From ICE After Publicly Calling For Dialogue, Agency Says)

The meeting on Monday was not only joined by state lawmakers, but also by members of Congress, pro-ICE sheriffs, and other statewide politicians.

“Ensuring the safety of our citizens is plain common sense. These are heinous crimes we are talking about, not simple traffic violations,” tweeted North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest on Monday. Forest, who welcomes cooperation with federal immigration authorities, is currently running to unseat Cooper from office.

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