North Carolina shouldn’t be doing ICE’s bidding.
We know that when local law enforcement works with federal immigration officers to target, detain, and deport community members, it threatens people's rights and harms public safety, spreading fear, diverting resources, and making people less likely to report crimes or trust law enforcement.
That’s why we are working to end 287(g) agreements and other forms of collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration officers in North Carolina.
What is the 287(g) program?
Under the 287(g) program a local agency (usually local sheriffs who run the county jail) enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Homeland Security to authorize local police to carry out immigration enforcement activities.
Sheriffs who decide not to enroll in the 287(g) program still comply with all required federal laws, like Secure Communities, that require local law enforcement to automatically share data about individuals arrested and booked in jail with the federal government. Local law enforcement agencies that allocate resources to cooperate with federal immigration authorities do so voluntarily.
Which North Carolina counties participate in 287(g)?
Four counties in North Carolina voluntarily hold 287(g) agreements that are hindering public safety efforts and eroding community trust: Henderson, Nash, Gaston, and Cabarrus.
These are some of the concerns we have with 287(g):
Collaboration with ICE can lead to violations of people's constitutional and civil rights. With 287(g) in place, individuals can be held in jail after they are legally eligible for release.
The 287(g) program has encouraged racial profiling and discrimination. In 2012, for example, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with systematically and unlawfully targeting Latinx residents for investigation, traffic stops, arrests, seizures, and other enforcement actions.
Collaboration with ICE spreads fear and tears parents away from their families: with 287(g) agreements, people are more likely to end up in removal proceedings, sometimes just from a minor interaction with the police. In Mecklenburg County alone, more than 15,000 people were deported under 287(g), some after being detained for minor offenses like traffic violations and even, in one instance, catching undersized fish.