Some N.C. sheriffs criticize bill that would force them to comply with ICE requests

North Carolina
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On Tuesday, a North Carolina Senate committee will review a bill that would force all sheriffs to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests, but some sheriffs say they’re against the bill.

Critics say the bill would scare illegal immigrants living in North Carolina into not reporting crimes.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker has said he won’t work with ICE and Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead has said the same. Both ran for sheriff on a platform that included not cooperating with ICE.

In a statement, Birkhead wrote, in part:

“During my first week as your sheriff, I kept my promise by issuing an executive order ending cooperation with ICE…I have not changed my position and emphatically reject this bill…and I do not and will not endorse this bill in any form.”

Baker’s chief legal advisor Rick Brown called the bill an overreach by the state legislature to nullify the voters in Wake County.

The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association said it supports the current version of the bill after taking no position on a previous version in April.

Baker said he will sit back and watch the move through the process, and in the meantime, will continue to not participate in cooperating with ICE.

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