CHARLOTTE – Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been clear since the day Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden proudly cut cooperation with the federal immigration authority: Less official cooperation only means ICE will have to execute proactive targeted enforcement of immigration laws when it comes to known criminals the sheriff is freeing.
That was reinforced again last week when ICE announced the arrest of Jose Barajas-Diaz, who was convicted of felony death by a motor vehicle and DWI earlier this year, a week after the Mecklenburg County Sheriffs Department freed him against a standing detention request. In refusing to merely honor a detainer submitted by ICE the day after this illegal alien was arrested, they forced ICE to find and arrest him again from scratch in order to actually remove a known illegal alien that’s driving drunk and killing people in their own community.
“[…] ICE officials say they lodged an immigration detainer against him with Mecklenburg County the following day. Along with the detainer form, ICE officials say they provided the county with an administrative arrest warrant.
Barajas-Diaz was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle in North Carolina Superior Court for Mecklenburg County on Oct. 24, 2019, and given a five-year suspended sentence with credit for time served, according to an ICE press release. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor the ICE detainer and instead released him back into the community.
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers were able to locate and arrest him eight days later on Nov. 1, and he is currently in ICE custody while going through removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.
“This is yet another example of a clear public safety threat being released into North Carolina communities rather than into ICE custody due to local sheriff policies on ICE non-cooperation,” said Acting ICE Director Matt Albence. “Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Mecklenburg County are less safe due to these misguided sanctuary policies. […]”
From a perspective of public safety and law enforcement, the policies of these non-cooperative Sanctuary Sheriffs make absolutely no sense. They fail to achieve even the stated goals and needlessly endanger the general welfare at the same time. How much trouble from such backward policies will voters in these counties stand before the give these Sanctuary Sheriffs the boot?
Read more about the ICE operation here.