WASHINGTON, D.C. – Days after vetoing S.B. 101, which simply requires North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with ICE when dangerous criminal illegal immigrants are detained for violent crimes, Gov. Roy Cooper told Spectrum News that the bill is “unnecessary” because local law enforcement already has the authority to keep the criminals detained. As North Carolinians are aware, the issue is not the lack of some local officials’ authority to keep dangerous criminals detained, but rather their refusal to do so.
In response to the Governor’s comments, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement:
“Gov. Cooper’s story keeps changing on why he believes North Carolina should be a sanctuary state. He’s claiming that S.B. 101 is ‘unnecessary’ because local officials have the authority to keep violent, dangerous criminal illegal immigrants detained. Indeed they do, and that’s exactly the problem: they’re refusing to do so, and they’re refusing to comply with lawful detainer requests made by ICE.
“Governor Cooper’s support for sanctuary policies has already enabled local liberal politicians to release hundreds of violent criminals back into North Carolina communities over the last several years, including one criminal who caused a 9-hour standoff shortly after being released that unnecessarily put the lives of police officers at risk.
“Liberal governors and local officials who refuse to take crime seriously are exactly the reason why I’ve introduced federal legislation to put an end to dangerous sanctuary policies.”
Senator Tillis introduced the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act, legislation that would clarify the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) detainer authority, clearly establish the authority of states and localities to maintain custody in cases in which a detainer has been issued, and incentivize cooperation between law enforcement agencies and DHS through the reimbursement of certain detention, technology, and litigation-related costs.
Tillis has also introduced the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act, legislation that holds sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for failing to comply with lawful detainer and release notification requests made by federal authorities and jeopardizing public safety.