RALEIGH, NC — Today, nearly two dozen local elected officials sent a letter to Governor Cooper raising alarms about Senate Bill 101 (Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0) and calling on him to support immigrant communities by acting against it:

“Senate Republicans introduced SB 101 alongside SB 100 to further target Black and Brown communities. The legislature is pushing racist and divisive legislation rather than taking up Medicaid expansion or prioritizing the economic relief that our communities desperately need.”

SB 101 forces Sheriffs to comply with requests to hold immigrants past their criminal court release date. Currently, patterns of holding immigrants past their release date are voluntary and in other places have been ruled illegal. This proposal would change that and force Sheriffs to hold immigrants 48 hours longer, to give Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) time to take over custody.

The group — who are all members of Local Progress — characterized the bills as a “racist power grab,” emphasizing:

“We know that these bills do nothing to keep our communities safe but are instead being used by members of the General Assembly to divide us and create fear amongst immigrant and refugee members of our community,” said Durham County Vice Chair Wendy Jacobs.

“Continuing to incarcerate individuals beyond their release date for an ICE detainer– which carries no legal force– violates fundamental constitutional guarantees of liberty and due process,” said Orange County Commissioner Mark Dorosin.