Locals look at immigration enforcement
CHARLOTTE - Police here operated for years under what amounts to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward illegal immigrants.The programs make sense if we are serious about the rule of law when it comes to immigration enforcement. There is much more in the story.
As elsewhere in the United States, law enforcement officers did not check the immigration status of people they came into contact with, and in the vast majority of cases, a run-in with the law carried little threat of deportation.
But that accommodation for the burgeoning illegal population ended abruptly in April, when the Mecklenburg County sheriff's office began to enforce immigration law, placing more than 100 people a month into deportation proceedings. Some of them had been charged with violent crimes, others with traffic infractions.
The program takes one of the most aggressive stances in the United States toward illegal immigrants, and officials in scores of communities, including Herndon and Loudoun County, are considering adopting their own version. The House earlier this month was weighing a measure "reaffirming" the authority of local law enforcement agencies to arrest people on suspicion of violating immigration laws.