SANFORD – As ‘Sanctuary Sheriffs’ in major counties across North Carolina have made it their mission to end cooperation with federal immigration authorities, ICE let it be known that the decrease in official cooperation would necessitate an increase in the agency’s presence in North Carolina to combat illegal immigration.
While the Lee County Sheriff’s Department is not among those shunning the assistance of federal law enforcement, a raid this week in Sanford shows that ICE is indeed taking immigration enforcement seriously.
ICE detained 30 employees of a gun manufacturing plant in a raid on Tuesday. The raid was part of an ongoing investigation into identity theft and fraud, presumably because the illegal aliens used stolen identities to secure employment.
Sheriff Tracey Carter, whose office assisted in the raid, said it is unclear if the business itself is at fault, and added that it was not a random operation. The mayor of Sanford made it a point to declare that they weren’t warned or notified of the operation before hand.
Meanwhile, it appears the raid created a ripple effect through the Hispanic community around Sanford. One community college employee even went as far as to warn all English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students of the presence of ICE agents around town, advising them to not drive without a license.