State Senate Passes ICE Bill, Goes Back to the NC House for Final Approval

    Today, the North Carolina Senate took the penultimate step in the approval of House Bill 10, “Require Sheriffs to Cooperate with ICE.” The House passed the legislation on March 28 on a bipartisan vote of 71 to 44. The bill was sponsored by Representative Destin Hall, Chairman of the Rules Committee.

    House Bill 10 requires North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration authorities when a suspected illegal immigrant is in custody for committing a violent crime. A new qui tam provision of the bill allows any person, including a federal agency, to file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General alleging a sheriff failed to comply with the provisions of this bill. The Attorney General can then seek a court order to enforce the law against sanctuary sheriffs.

    “House Bill 10 is common sense legislation that will help authorities deport those who illegally cross the border and commit heinous crimes,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Buck Newton said. “The question now is whether Attorney General Stein will support the bill and new enforcement authority, or continue to run from the issue.”

    A Gallup poll from the end of April finds that the immigration issue has been at the top of list of voters’ concerns for the last three months; an Axios/Harris poll also released a the end of April found that the majority of Americans support mass deportations of immigrants who are in the country illegally, including 42% of Democrats. According to the same poll, early two-thirds of Americans say illegal immigration is a real crisis and not a media-driven narrative.

    “Americans are in disbelief at the southern border crisis, and we cannot sit back as our communities continue to be put at risk,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Danny Earl Britt, Jr. said. “The Attorney General must commit to acting on the powers granted to him in House Bill 10 and help fight the border crisis.”

    In North Carolina, there have been several examples of ICE detainers being ignored, resulting in the release of dangerous non-citizens. WBTV reported in 2019 that nearly 500 undocumented immigrants had been released from North Carolina jails despite ICE detainers.

    “President Biden’s open border policy has led to a massive influx of non-citizens into our country,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Warren Daniel said. “Working with ICE is one of the few tools we have at our disposal. We need all hands on deck, including a willing Attorney General who isn’t afraid to turn over dangerous illegal immigrants.”

    Because the Senate added an amendment to the legislation, House Bill 10 now must return to the House for a concurrence vote.

    Photo above of MS-13 gang member courtesy of Reuters, appearing in the April 21, 2016 Business Insider story “The strange way one of Latin America’s largest street gangs got its name