RALEIGH – While it is a bit confusing as to why this legislation was not passed long ago, the N.C. Senate Judiciary Committee considered the ‘Require Sheriff Cooperation with ICE’ Act Wednesday at the General Assembly. House Bill 370, as we have highlighted here before, is a straightforward solution to ensuring law enforcement is doing everything in their capacity to enforce the law and keep their communities safe.
Opponents of the bill, namely the handfuls of county sheriffs that publicly suspended cooperation agreements with ICE, as well as illegal immigrant advocates and those at risk of deportation, assert such agreements undermine immigrant community faith in police and will hesitate to report crimes. But the legislation would merely enshrine the agreements that sheriffs’ offices have historically had with federal immigration authorities for decades.
The bill requires law enforcement to screen the immigration status of any felony or driving while impaired arrest, notify authorities if they’re in the country illegally, and honor any detention request by ICE or DHS. Failure to comply would result in fines, starting at no more than $1,500 per day of noncompliance for a first offense, and $25,000 a day for subsequent offenses. That should convince a sheriff to honor ICE detainers and get illegal aliens arrested for felonies or drunk driving of their community.
Wednesday’s committee is led by co-chairs Sens. Danny Britt (R-Columbus) and Warren Daniel (R-Avery). In addition to House Bill 370, bills waiting for votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee include legislation on human trafficking, strengthening gang laws. The members of the committee hopefully do not hesitate to better enforce existing laws that result in removing felonious illegal aliens from our counties. You can follow the committee vote here, and the bill’s progress, here.