Crackdown on Arrests in North Carolina for Immigration-Related Crimes
A crackdown on prosecuting North Carolina residents for immigration-related crimes has significantly escalated of late, as more than 200 people were arrested in ICE raids across the state in February and federal criminal prosecutions were initiated against others charged with illegally voting in the state.
Hundreds Arrested In February ICE Raids across North Carolina
According to officials, those arrested by ICE included approximately:
- 50 people who were previously deported but had allegedly re-entered the U.S. illegally;
- 50 people who were suspects with criminal convictions;
- 40 people with pending criminal charges; and
- 60 others who were arrested simply because they could not verify their legal status for ICE agents.
According to ICE, the agency now plans to “actively seek out undocumented immigrants,” conducting additional, large arrests in local neighborhoods and work sites because Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties ended the “287 g” program, which involved transferring undocumented detainees locally arrested into ICE’s custody. While ICE has indicated that it actively searches for undocumented immigrants with criminal records, it has also stated that “will not turn a blind eye” to undocumented family members who are simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” and do not have any criminal records or histories. The agency has also indicated that it plans for these arrests to be less “safe” than those that would occur at local jails. Arrests have taken place not only in Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties, but also throughout Burlington and Charlotte.
Meanwhile, a number of local sheriffs have expressed their concerns over this approach, as, although ICE has the authority to enforce civil and federal law, local sheriffs can only hold someone under detainer if an arrest is based on probable cause.
19 People Charged With Illegal Voting In the State
A number of North Carolina residents have also been charged with voting illegally in North Carolina even though, in some of those circumstances, the legal circumstances surrounding those votes are questionable. For example, one individual who has been accused of this federal crime is actually in the middle of a determination on whether she is a legitimate U.S. citizen due to confusion over her parents’ origins. As a result, North Carolina U.S. District Court Judges have no choice but to delay hearings, given that their right to vote, in these circumstances, depends upon the outcome of a number of pending investigations.
Contact Our Experienced North Carolina Criminal Defense & Immigration Attorneys Today To Find Out More
If you live in North Carolina and are facing prosecution or deportation for immigration-related crimes or questions surrounding your citizenship, contact our experienced North Carolina criminal defense and immigration attorneys at the office of Dysart Willis today to find out how we can help.