ICE shifts focus to Charlotte, won't confirm if crackdown is over

ICE officials held a press conference in Charlotte Friday to discuss a recent string of crackdowns that have taken place in Mecklenburg County.

Approximately 200 arrests have been made across the state since Monday.

ICE Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher, whose district coverage includes the Charlotte area, made several remarks and then took questions.

Gallagher voiced concern with CMPD and the county's decision to eliminate the 287g program, which bars ICE officials from entering detention centers to go after illegal immigrants who have already been detained.

"The Mecklenburg County sheriff’s decision to restrict cooperation with ICE serves as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that Mecklenburg County is now a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities," Gallagher said.

Gallagher said this presents a more dangerous scenario for ICE officials, who will now have to go into the community to confront potential immigrants who are in the country illegally.

"ICE will now have no choice but to conduct more at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests instead of arrests at the jail where enforcement is safer for everyone involved.”

Press Conference