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North Carolina Governor Cooper Vetoes Bill Requiring That Sheriffs Do as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Demands as Federal Government Continues to Punish Immigrants


After the Senate and NC House members voted for the bill requiring sheriffs and other North Carolina law enforcement officials to abide by detention requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in August, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would have required that local law enforcement “comply” with federal immigration authorities by asking about prisoners’ immigration status, as well as “cooperate” with ICE and other federal authorities. The governor called the measure unconstitutional, and indicated that North Carolina already has the laws it needs to “prosecute dangerous criminals;” pointing out that all that the current legislation did was place sheriffs in a compromised position by having them do the job of a federal agent.

The veto means that sheriffs can continue to choose whether they will hold people in jail for ICE to pick up. Thus far, voters and sheriffs in counties such as Durham, Mecklenburg, Wake, and others have indicated that they plan to cut ties with ICE and had concerns about the legal consequences of holding inmates after local judges and magistrates had already approved their release. In addition, they also expressed concerns about damaging their relationships with the individuals in their communities.

Federal Green Card Barriers

Meanwhile, the federal administration has officially released its proposed regulation to deny legal permanent status to those immigrants that have participated in any public welfare programs in favor of high-income immigrants, blatantly purporting overt class discrimination. Specifically, those who depend on programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, housing choice vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will reportedly be denied green cards as a result of the proposal. Many now fear that they will need to work with attorneys to make sure that they are complying with the proposed rule and/or fit within its exemption in order to ensure that they won’t be deported or denied a green card; which could also mean families opting out of housing stability and food assistance. The new policy is expected to go into effect on October 15, and will affect immigrants who want to become permanent residents for a green card and foreign citizens applying for immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

Contact Our Garner, North Carolina Criminal Defense & Immigration Attorneys

There is no question that ICE detentions and the proposed regulation from the administration will lead to families being ripped apart for something as minor as a traffic violation, and a number of those affected by the federal agency’s actions are U.S. citizens.

Our North Carolina attorneys practice in areas including immigration assistance and criminal defense. If you are facing charges and/or have any immigration legal questions or needs, contact our North Carolina immigration attorneys at the Hauter Law Firm, PC today to find out how we can help.



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