New Mecklenburg sheriff will end inmate immigration checks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Immigration enforcement in Mecklenburg County is about to change.

Garry McFadden won in a landslide in Tuesday night’s race for Mecklenburg County Sheriff. That means the 287(g) program, which evaluates the immigration status of inmates, will be gone soon.

RELATED: New sheriff in town: McFadden ousts Carmichael in Meck County

While current sheriff Irwin Carmichael has defended the program, McFadden has said it promotes division, and he intends to end it.

RELATED: Immigration advocates voice opposition over 287(g) program

A spokesman for ICE said eliminating the program means the agency will have to send agents into the community to track down undocumented immigrants.

"ICE is very clear about this. We prefer to take custody of a persons in a local jail versus doing large-scale arrests," said the spokesperson. "If the agency does those in large operations, we may come across other persons who weren't even on the agency's radar."

RELATED: Immigration activist under ICE investigation for child assault accusation

Numbers from fiscal year 2017 show 455 inmates had active ICE holds through the program.  Of those, about 41 percent had misdemeanor charges.  34 percent had felony charges.  23 percent had traffic related charges.

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