RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Six North Carolina sheriffs are voicing their opposition to two bills proposed in the state house that would require them to more closely cooperate with federal immigration officials.
Both House Bill 10 and Senate Bill 50 would require sheriff’s offices to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers. They would also be required to report people accused of certain crimes to ICE if their immigration or citizenship status is unknown. Some of those crimes include homicides, sex offenses, kidnapping, human trafficking and gang activities.
Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller, Wilson County Sheriff Calvin L. Woodard Jr., Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood and Durham County Clarence F. Birkhead have voiced their opposition to both bills.
The opposing sheriffs say the proposed pieces of legislation require locally elected sheriffs to do the job of federal immigration authorities.
A release from the opposing sheriff’s offices said, “They ask state senators and representatives to protect the role of sheriff, which has historically focused on enforcing local laws in their jurisdictions, maintaining and operating jails, serving civil process papers, and providing security for North Carolinas courtrooms. The sheriffs warn legislators that, if passed, HB 10 and SB 50 will jeopardize their ability to fulfill their local duties and set a dangerous precedent for overstepping local authority.”
Along with administrative burdens to local jail and court systems, the sheriff’s pointed to concerns about Fourth Amendment rights.
“The bills do not address the potential liability sheriffs will face due to constitutional violations,” said a release.