WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Sheriffs who won’t work with ICE should be ousted

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The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed House Bill 370, which requires law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Legislators voted on strict party lines, which tells me it was driven by politics rather than community safety. I find it sad that a law had to be written to require such action. Sheriffs are elected to uphold the law and protect our communities. Any county where the sheriff has publicly stated he or she will not honor ICE requests should hold an immediate recall of that sheriff and hold new elections.

I understand the sensitive nature of working with immigrant communities to create trust in law enforcement, but that does not give these sheriffs a free pass to ignore federal statute or the safety of all people in their communities. Any person who breaks the law, gets arrested and is determined to not be a legal resident of the United States should be removed from the community as a threat to the safety of everyone in that community.

That does not mean law enforcement should go seeking people to arrest just find out their immigration status. It just means someone legitimately arrested for breaking the law who is not a legal resident may be removed from the community.

I would also argue that removing these people allows law enforcement more time and resources to protect those communities. The whole “sanctuary city” situation has become a political game where citizen and community safety are somehow less important than a political statement.

Mick Rankin

Stantonsburg

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