ICE billboards of wanted illegal immigrants is ‘misinformation,’ North Carolina sheriff says

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

Immigration and Customs Enforcement billboards displaying the faces of wanted illegal immigrants facing criminal charges are “misinformation,” according to the North Carolina Sheriff’s Office that released the inmates.

The “wanted” advertisements feature the mugshots of multiple illegal immigrants who were arrested on charges such as assault, rape, and felony drug possession, then were released by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office despite being on federal immigration detainers, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said federal officials should have to obtain a court order to hold illegal immigrants until trial, local outlet WFAE reported.

“I do not release individuals from custody as ICE’s billboards suggest. Rather, when a Judge or Magistrate ORDERS that an individual SHALL BE RELEASED upon fulfilling certain terms and conditions including payment of a bond, I abide by that Court Order as I am REQUIRED to do so by law and by my oath of office,” McFadden said, WFAE reported.

McFadden said he was “disappointed in the tactics that ICE employs” and that information on the billboards is “misinformation,” WFAE reported.

ICE began advertising photographs of illegal immigrants with criminal histories on billboards to raise awareness about local non-cooperation policies that violate immigration detainers, according to a statement released on Friday. Local law enforcement agencies are not required to honor detainers, which allow for an illegal immigrant to be held up to 48 hours so ICE can take them into custody, according to WFAE.

“Too often sanctuary policies limiting cooperation with ICE result in significant public safety concerns because they release dangerous individuals back into the community we are attempting to protect,” the acting ICE Director Tony Pham said in a statement.

“ICE will continue to enforce immigration laws set forth by Congress through the efforts of the men and women of ICE to remove criminal aliens and making our communities safer,” Pham added.

The billboard advertisements show five illegal immigrants who were reportedly released by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office instead of being handed over to ICE, according to WFAE. ICE should be responsible for arresting dangerous illegal immigrants after local law enforcement follows court orders to release them, McFadden said.

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