CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man accused of shooting a man while in the country illegally is out of jail after Mecklenburg County sheriff ended the 287(g) program, which kept prisoners with ICE holds behind bars.
Sources said more violent criminals are back on the streets since the program ended in the county.
Sheriff Garry McFadden said 28 people who were held under 287(g) provisions have been released, and a source said some present a danger to the public.
ICE officials said undocumented immigrant Kevin Santos shot a man during an attempted robbery early last year.
He was booked into the Mecklenburg County jail and was being held for ICE agents under the 287(g) program even though a judge gave him bond.
Legal experts said that was common under the program.
"So even though the person had a bond, if they were able to pay it, they would not be released. Without 287(g), that person given a bond has an opportunity to be released," an attorney told Channel 9.
McFadden ended 287(g) program last month.
Channel 9 contacted Santos’ alleged victim.
"(The gunshot) affected my leg,” the victim, who did not want to be identified, said. “I couldn't walk, do much (running.) I was joining the Army, and I can't because of it.”
He was shocked to hear Santos is back on the streets.
"I'm really confused about how and why," the victim said.
Santos, who is required to wear an ankle bracelet, goes to trial on charges related to that shooting in March.
McFadden declined to comment Friday.
“Sheriff McFadden is not re-evaluating his decision to terminate 287(g),” a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said.
Immigration is a growing concern in the U.S. this year.
In an Associated Press poll, 49 percent of Americans listed it as a top problem they want the government to address in 2019, which is up from 27 percent going into 2018.
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