Senator Nickel spoke out against Senate Bill 101, which would force county sheriffs and local police to comply with ICE detainers which are voluntary under federal law. The bill threatens sheriffs and their staff with criminal prosecution if they fail to comply with ICE demands.
Senator Nickel said, “I opposed this legislation in 2019 in large part because it would create fear and distrust between immigrant communities and local police. When local police carry out immigration enforcement, immigrant communities are very hesitant to report crimes for fear of being deported or having loved ones deported. That’s one of the main reasons that Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker and other large county sheriffs oppose this bill.”
According to a report from the North Carolina Justice Center, this bill forces local law enforcement to act on the will of ICE, as well as shoulder the cost of the federal government’s work.
Senator Nickel said, “This bill is harmful to our immigrant communities. It will erode trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement. SB 101 will discourage immigrant communities from contacting law enforcement when they need help, leading to less safe communities.”
This bill not only creates an unnecessary lack of trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement, but it also fails to address the constitutional concerns surrounding ICE detainers.
Senator Nickel said, “ICE detainers are not only unconstitutional, as they violate the Fourth Amendment, they are also a source of constant fear for undocumented immigrants. If ICE wants to arrest an undocumented immigrant for a crime, they should get a signed arrest warrant from a federal judge, instead of forcing local jails to shoulder the expense of doing the federal government’s work.