CHARLOTTE – Several county sheriffs across North Carolina made very public pronouncements that they are ending cooperation agreements with federal immigration authorities like ICE. They felt no obligation to help federal law enforcement deport criminal illegal aliens from their communities, and they seemed to favor making the illegal immigrant communities more comfortable versus removing bad actors from the community.
The response from ICE was simple: If there’s no cooperation in places like Wake and Mecklenburg Counties, we’ll just have to do more unilateral enforcement operations.
And the agency has been following through, with multiple raids across North Carolina in recent weeks, resulting in hundreds of detentions.
But the pro-illegal immigrant groups that campaigned for sheriffs that would get rid of cooperation agreements are now all twisted in knots over the fact that ICE is still following through on enforcing immigration law. Moreover, they are working to help illegal aliens avoid detention and manufacturing a narrative that ICE is the new Gestapo.
From Queen City Nerve:
“[…] By the end of the week, more than a dozen arrests had taken place in Charlotte, and Arteaga recorded calls into the Comunidad Colectiva hotline reporting arrests in Hickory, Gastonia, Huntersville and Concord. She and her team relay that information through text to a network of people so that undocumented immigrants can be made aware of places they should avoid.
If she’s nearby, Arteaga will drive to the spot where a traffic stop or other ICE action is reported to observe.
“I’ve been the one that’s been confronting ICE, so it’s been nerve-racking for myself as an immigrant, and it’s been very scary,” Arteaga said. “We’re really trying to make sure that we work with allies who have citizenship privilege to be out on the streets and report back.”
Adding to the fear was the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which on Feb. 6 and 7 ran a “traffic safety saturation patrol” in the Eastway division, using 25 officers from four different area departments to carry out 124 traffic stops in just four hours, just as ICE operations were picking up in an area of Charlotte that houses the largest population of Latinx and Hispanic people.
“You have a federal agency at home here impersonating you for some of these stops, so why are y’all still doing stops in these predominantly black and brown neighborhoods where people are already scared?” Arteaga asked of the local police. “How is CMPD trying to rebuild trust in a period where maybe they should lay low or call out ICE for using these tactics?””
Could it be that the federal immigration authorities are not fear mongering, but merely…enforcing immigration law?
And lest you think the tactics are too heavy-handed to tackle a few illegal immigrants, take a look the prevalence of illegals in these communities implied by the size of the scramble:
“Kimberly Perez, a teacher at Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, said half of her students didn’t show up for school on Feb. 7 as word spread of the heavy ICE and police presence in east Charlotte.
Manolo Betancourt, owner of the popular Manolo’s Bakery on Central Avenue, said his business dropped by 75 percent that same day. He said he doesn’t know what to tell his employees when they ask about ICE.
“I feel three different kind of fears: the fear of my customers, the fear of my employees and the fear that I have to face myself,” Betancourt told a group of about 30 people who came to the Latin American Coalition offices on Thursday night to learn how they could help.”
Half, or three-quarters, of people in these community pockets are fearing deportation because they entered the county illegal. That’s not an insignificant number.
The sanctuary sheriffs have often said their aim was to make illegal immigrant communities feel more comfortable, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Instead, the reaction by activists is to actually aid illegal immigrants in breaking and evading the law, and then labeling ICE terrorists.
“Jamilah Espinosa, an immigration attorney who attended the gathering, said that her first piece of advice for people dealing with ICE is to remain silent. She pointed out that HSI agents did not know who many of the people working at Bear Creek were until they began to question them.
“The immigrant community has been very scared because the truth of the matter is, if you look up the dictionary definition of the word terrorism, ICE is doing exactly what the dictionary definition is, which is scaring a population with random acts around town. So people have been scared,” Vaca said. “We’ll be working with different groups around town to see in what way we can help with rapid response, but the point is just working from the grassroots up.”“
This is the kind of lawlessness invited by open-borders advocates and progressive activists hell bent on undermining the rule of law.
You can get a sense of their whole warped perspective here.