The Sheriff of Wake County in North Carolina, Gerald Baker, is promising the Hispanic community in the county that ICE is no longer a friend.
While Sheriff Baker has no authority to stop ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from doing highly-controversial “immigration raids” or enforcing federal immigration law, Wake county will not be going out of their way to contribute or assist ICE in these efforts.
Wake county has participated in the past in the 287(g) program. The program consists of local law enforcement officials communicating with ICE about the immigration status of inmates in county jails.
ICE allegedly blames localities that do not participate in the 287(g) program for being the reason that ICE is forced to conduct immigration raids.
At a community meeting at St. Michael the Archangel Church, organized by a coalition of advocacy groups and those representing the Hispanic community, Sheriff Baker said, “I have no control over ICE…I have to let you know that. I’m sorry. If I did then I would be doing something about it.”
The community meeting was held because the organizers expressed concern over the latest raids and how they are affecting Latino families as well as the trust between the community and law enforcement.
The ICE Atlanta Field Office Director, Sean Gallagher, called the recent raids and ICE action the “new normal” during a press conference. Gallagher continued, saying, “This is the direct conclusion of dangerous policies of not cooperating with ICE…This forces my officers to go out onto the street to conduct more enforcement.”
One of Sheriff Baker’s campaign points was ending Wake county participation in the 287(g) program. Confirming that Wake county was terminating their cooperation with the program seemed highly popular in the county.
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