CORRECTIONS: Due to a reporting error, the original version of this story misrepresented the type of order enforced by federal immigration authorities. Federal immigration authorities would only arrest undocumented immigrants who already have a felony deportation order. Due to a reporting error, the story also misrepresented a person's immigration status. Immigration status is a civil matter. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.
A bill presented to the governor’s office Wednesday might allow police in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham to have more discretion when enforcing immigration policies.
The North Carolina General Assembly passed a ban on “sanctuary city” policies, which limit enforcement of immigration laws and locally issued IDs to noncitizens. Gov. Pat McCrory now has the option to sign the bill into law.
The bill’s supporters argue that local governments should not be able to opt out of federal laws. Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham are sanctuary cities, an unofficial status for cities that believe local government should not have a strong role in enforcing immigration policy.
Lt. Josh Mecimore, spokesperson for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said a person’s immigration status does not affect how an officer conducts his job.