Deputies Around North Carolina Take On Double Duty
CONCORD, N.C. —
Five Cabarrus County Sheriff’s deputies are the latest weapon in immigration and customs enforcement. They are taking part in the federal 287(g) program, which trains local departments to help identify and start the deportation process for the hundreds of illegal immigrants who get arrested for committing crimes.
Cabarrus County Deputy Ted Lister said there are a growing number of illegal immigrants in North Carolina and Cabarrus County, but in the past when they have come into the jail deputies didn’t have the power to start the process to remove them from the United States.
Some critics are concerned the program will hamper deputies’ ability to do their core duties, make immigrants fearful of reporting crimes or lead to racial profiling. Former Mecklenberg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph said there is no evidence of that.
Mecklenburg County is a national model for the 287(g) program and Pendergraph started it here. He eventually took a federal job with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is now spreading the program throughout the country.
Right now in North Carolina, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Alamance and Gaston Counties are all participating; so is the Durham Police Department.
Cabarrus County deputies working Double Duty