CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested hundreds of people living without documents in North Carolina last week, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The spike in arrests comes after major counties in the state severed ties with ICE.
According to the Charlotte Observer, ICE Regional Director Sean Gallaghar said, “This is the direct conclusion of dangerous policies of not cooperating with ICE. This forces my officers to go out onto the street to conduct more enforcement.”
About 200 people were detained in North Carolina. Gallaghar said the arrests could continue if ICE is not allowed to access county jails.
Mecklenburg and Wake counties used to notify ICE of the legal status of inmates until new sheriffs reversed the policies in December.
The Durham County Sheriff’s Office similarly stopped honoring ICE detainers.
Charlotte City Council Member Braxton Winston said to reporters he was told by ICE official Robert Alfieri that these arrests are the “new normal,” blaming Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden for not cooperating.
“This is not new,” said Alerta Migratoria NC organizer Viridiana Martinez, according to the paper. “It’s just the first time since the sheriffs have drawn the line in the sand. To me, this is clearly in retaliation.”
Alerta Migratoria NC is a Raleigh activist group that works to help refugees and immigrants in North Carolina.