'It erodes trust with our community.' Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office ends agreement with ICE

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After being sworn into office this week, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden announced that he notified Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that the Sheriff’s Office is ending its voluntary 287(g) agreement with ICE.

The 287(g) program has allowed ICE to operate within the Mecklenburg County jail since 2006.

“Today I’m ending ICE’s 287(g) program in Mecklenburg County and joining the majority of police and sheriff departments around the country who have declined to do ICE’s bidding because it erodes trust with our community and ties up critical resources that should be used to ensure public safety,” said Sheriff McFadden in a written statement, released on Wednesday.

The policy reflects a pledge Sheriff McFadden made while running for the office. MCSO will continue to comply with all federal obligations as they pertain to ICE and follow state laws that apply to determining and sharing information concerning immigration or citizenship status.

“My commitment has been – and will remain – keeping this community safe. By ending this program, I will utilize unlimited office resources on preventing serious crimes and to improve public safety in our communities," Sheriff McFadden said. 

This decision was one of the first Sheriff McFadden made upon assuming office on Monday.

Prior to this action, Mecklenburg County was one of only approximately 78 counties nationwide - out of more than 3,000 - that voluntarily agreed to engage in this type of arrangement. 

Sheriff McFadden will do a ‘Ceremonial Signing’ of his letter to ICE at 4 p.m. Wednesday.