TAKE ACTION! Tell lawmakers to reject anti-immigrant legislation
Yesterday, the NC House of Representatives' Rules Committee gave a favorable report to House Bill 370 (HB 370), a bill that would force North Carolina sheriffs to act as an extension of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Specifically, sheriffs would be forced to honor ICE detainers, a request that asks a local sheriff to hold a person for up to 48 hours so that ICE can determine whether to arrest the individual. Because these detainers are not tied to criminal cases, they aim to require local sheriffs to hold individuals without probable cause, in violation of their constitutional rights. Learn more at NC Policy Watch.
Though this would typically be a voluntary request of the sheriffs, H.B. 370 would turn these detainers into mandates. Forcing sheriffs to act as an extension of ICE undermines public safety by diverting much needed resources away from other safety initiatives, decreasing voluntary reporting of crime, and otherwise spreading fear throughout our immigrant communities.
North Carolinians voted AGAINST proponents of ICE detainers and other anti-immigrant measures in November when several sheriffs won elections in North Carolina counties by promising to limit when they would comply with these unconstitutional requests. Now, lawmakers are attempting to override the will of the voters and usurp these sheriffs’ of their discretion on how to keep their communities safe. The bill could also subject counties to pay for lawsuits brought by detained individuals whose rights have been violated by these would-be obligatory, unconstitutional detentions.
When local law enforcement agencies become intertwined with immigration enforcement, it erodes the trust between immigrant communities and the police, making immigrants less likely to report crimes, which in turn makes our communities less safe. In a time where fear and confusion are already rampant as a result of retaliatory ICE enforcement operations, North Carolina must refuse to further traumatize our neighbors.
The NC House of Representatives will continue to debate this anti-immigrant initiative this week.
Contact your legislators TODAY and tell them to vote AGAINST strengthening the deportation machine by voting against H.B. 370.