If local governments refused to comply with the order, the law makes it possible for them to be penalized up to $25,500 per day.
“If the law-abiding citizens of North Carolina are subject to enforcement of state and federal law, then illegal immigrants detained for committing crimes should be too," Moore said in an online post explaining the bill.
N.C. Rep. Destin Hall, R-District-87, is also quoted in the post.
“Several sheriffs in North Carolina aren’t communicating with their fellow law enforcement officers about the detention of illegal immigrants accused of crimes,” Hall said. “These sheriffs are putting politics ahead of public safety. Their failure to cooperate with immigration officials only puts more innocent people and officers in harm’s way.”
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood has previously said in a statement his department's longstanding policy is not to comply with ICE detainers without probable cause that the person is undocumented. He said courts have found that detainers don't have to be followed.
Blackwood declined to comment on HB 370.
N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-District 50, sharply criticized the Republican legislators who introduced and support the bill.
“This is a Republican ideology bill. They are trying to find a local way to build on Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and fire up their base,” Meyer said. “I think it’s actually pretty disturbing to have this type of piling on against immigrants who are working hard and trying to find a way to become members of our community, and the Republicans’ desire to build on anti-immigrant rhetoric while we’re in a period where white nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise is troubling to me.”
Other opponents of the bill had a number of concerns, from its legality to community safety.
Pinto said he saw the bill as a response to sheriffs in North Carolina including a refusal to comply with ICE detainers as part of their campaign promises.
“They ran on those platforms, and they won on those platforms. Which means that the residents of those areas, that’s how they wanted their sheriffs to act. So it is a bit ironic that now the state government is trying to supersede that with this kind of law,” he said.
Pinto said relationships between local police and federal immigration authorities would make communities with large immigrant populations less safe. He said when there is mistrust between community members and local police, reports of domestic violence and sexual assault have been shown to decrease.
Deborah Weissman, a UNC law professor who specializes in immigration law, said HB 370 enters a gray area of law when states require localities to comply with federal laws.
“What we do know, because this has been litigated in a number of places around the country, and I think just about every case has come down the same way, and that is the enforcement of immigration detainers, by local officials, is unlawful,” Weissman said.
Mary Jose Espinoza, a civic engagement organizer with El Pueblo, also said HB 370 would increase an already growing mistrust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.
“We know that people are scared of even local police now, so that’s one of our concerns with this bill is that if there’s already such a big gap in the distrust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, what a bill like this would do to stratify that gap,” Espinoza said.