North Carolina bill forcing sheriffs to aid immigration agents still under review in House

Details of a bill that forces North Carolina sheriffs to comply with federal immigration agents’ requests to hold inmates believed to be in the country illegally are still a work in progress at the state legislature.

The North Carolina House of Representatives voted Wednesday not to accept state Senate amendments made to the bill, which will now send the legislation to a team of lawmakers to negotiate. The conference committee will take on mostly language alterations, but Rep. Destin Hall, a primary Republican sponsor and member of the committee, told reporters after the vote that the main content of the bill is not expected to change.

House Speaker Tim Moore said before the floor vote that he expected the House to vote on the bill with finished changes next week.

Despite celebrating the pause, El Pueblo, a Hispanic advocacy group that lobbied against the bill, said in a statement Wednesday that the legislation was “still a real threat to becoming law” and could harm immigrant communities in the state. The bill’s supporters have said it will prevent potentially dangerous criminals from being prematurely released.

Under the proposed changes, sheriffs or jailers in all 100 counties are required to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detainers — which is a federal request to hold an inmate thought to be in the country unlawfully. The jailers must detain the inmate accused of serious crimes for up to 48 hours.

During its path through the Senate, a few amendments were added, including one that would allow anyone to file a complaint with the state Attorney’s General Office if they believe an official is not following the law.

The Senate passed the bill earlier this month in 28-16 vote along party lines.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

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