Despite widespread opposition from the immigrant community and even several county sheriffs, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association has flip-flopped to support the controversial House Bill 370, which forces local sheriffs to be part of Trump’s deportation machine, ripping children from their parents and separating families.
- Enforcing federal immigration laws is the federal government’s responsibility. Local authorities should be free to decide how to ensure the safety of their communities without interference from anti-immigrant politicians in Raleigh.
- Fear and distrust of local law enforcement officers makes immigrants less likely to contact or speak to local officials. When victims and witnesses refuse to speak to law enforcement, it makes it more difficult for police to both identify issues and seek assistance in addressing them.
- New sheriffs in North Carolina’s largest counties won election in 2018 after making high-profile promises not to work with federal immigration agents. Local authorities, who know their communities best and are accountable to those communities, should be the ones to make the decision on how to ensure their public safety.
Requiring local law enforcement agencies to pose as immigration agents will make our communities less safe, not more so. This bill is just another example of North Carolina Republicans disregarding basic principles of democracy in order to grab power.
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