To the Editor:
Do we want a community that lives free from fear?
That is the question the UNC community and the greater Triangle area must consider. Republican lawmakers recently introduced House Bill 370 to require local law enforcement to collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) using the 287(g) program, which has had a devastating impact on immigrant families. By encouraging local law enforcement to detain undocumented immigrants in local jails, the program creates a culture of fear and mistrust in communities. Many communities clearly demonstrated disapproval of the program by voting in new sheriffs who do not utilize 287(g). We now must unequivocally oppose HB 370.
There are myriad reasons to oppose implementing 287(g): Multiple courts have ruled immigration detainers are unconstitutional. The Department of Justice confirmed patterns of racially discriminatory police and jail practices through 287(g). Folks allowed to be in the country end up getting deported. It is a financial burden. A study from here at UNC-Chapel Hill confirmed that the program is used to target offenders who pose no threat to public safety and individuals with no criminal record.