Sheriff Garry McFadden is taking a stand against ICE.
“We will not do ICE’s job in sending working families to the administration’s deportation machine,” he stated.
His first act as sheriff was to end a controversial program that notified ICE if the county’s inmates were in the country illegally.
“We’re talking about watching a kid watch his father be deported. So him and his family have to survive. How is he going to function in school?” he said. “When this kid’s grades drop, why do they drop? When they have fear to go to dances, fear to join the football team, fear to even come outside because they’re coming home and not finding their parents or they’re walking to the bus stop and their parents are being snatched at the bus stop.”
ICE has retaliated against McFadden and six other Black sheriffs who won elections in North Carolina’s largest counties in 2018. Many pledged to improve safety by opposing ICE’s hardline policies.
In McFadden’s county, ICE arrested a mother and her teenage son, both alleged survivors of domestic violence, as they appeared in court.
“I know personally that people have been victims of crimes but they are afraid to report it. And I see these people every day,” he said. “Last week, I’m walking down to my office and a guy recognizes me as a sheriff. He says, ‘If I go to court, will I be arrested?’ And I said ‘Are you are the defendant or witness?’ He says, ‘I’m actually a witness for this young lady who’s standing here and she wants me to go to court. I’m the only witness that she has.’”
Immigrants commit crimes at significantly lower rates than native-born U.S. residents studies have repeatedly found.