CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tempers boiled over inside the Charlotte City Council chambers on Monday night over ICE arrests.
“It has been weeks, weeks of the raids. We have begged for your help,” resident Andrew Woods said.
There were passionate and fiery cries for help.
“This failure to support our most vulnerable neighbors is an outrage,” citizen Stephanie Hamrick said.
“We are all here to say it is time for the city to step up to the plate,” said Jorge Millares, with Queen City Unity.
Dozens of immigration protesters packed the Government Center holding signs and calling on City Council to take a stance against ICE.
Earlier this month, ICE said it arrested more than 200 people in North Carolina, including Charlotte.
Last week, Mecklenburg County commissioners passed a resolution in support of Sheriff Garry McFadden and his decision to withdraw from 287(g).
In response, Mayor Vi Lyles formed an immigration committee.
She didn't sign onto a letter with seven other North Carolina mayors including those from Durham and Asheville saying, we "state our unwavering opposition to the ICE raids that have swept North Carolina."
Many speakers were not happy with Lyles’ decision to not sign.
Lyles said she didn't sign the letter because she thought the committee would be more effective. She is promising to listen and do more.
“It obviously isn't enough for what you expect of me,” Lyles said.
Several grumbled and left the meeting after the mayor’s comments.
Many made clear that they will be back.
“I am not telling you, ‘You are going to hell for your failure,’” Hamrick said. “I am here to tell you, ‘They are going through hell right now.’”
The city of Charlotte’s Office of International Relations leader Federico Rios is leading the immigration committee. Councilman Larken Egleston is the chair. Council members Dimple Ajmera, James Mitchell and Matt Newton are also on the committee.
Rios said the committee will travel to each council district to have conversations with immigrants.
Cox Media Group