President Donald Trump on Saturday, Aug. 24, criticized North Carolina’s governor for vetoing an immigration bill that would have required local law enforcement officials in the state to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Trump tweeted Saturday that Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto was “a terrible decision.” He tweeted that the North Carolina Democrat “should reverse his decision and get back to the basics of fighting crime!”
North Carolina Governor Cooper Vetoed a Bill that would have required Sheriffs to cooperate with Ice. This is a terrible decision for the great people of North Carolina. He should reverse his decision and get back to the basics of fighting crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2019
Cooper on Wednesday vetoed House Bill 370, titled An Act to Require Compliance with Immigration Detainers and Administrative Warrants. If the legislation had been signed into law, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials working in North Carolina would be required to honor ICE detainer requests, according to Daily Caller.
“This legislation is simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina” Cooper said in his written veto message . “As the former top law enforcement officer of our state, I know that current law allows the state to jail and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status.”
The detainers, which ask that a suspect be held up to 48 hours for pickup, aren’t arrest warrants, so currently they can be ignored. The bill’s Republican sponsors said sheriffs should work with ICE.
Such a law, signed in other states, would stifle sanctuary cities and other municipalities that explicitly ignore requests from ICE detainers.
The bill was passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Legislature, with GOP members ripping the Democratic governor for the veto.
The overwhelming majority of North Carolinians “believe that law enforcement ought to work together,” said Rep. Destin Hall, a Catawba County Republican and chief bill sponsor. “They believe that our sheriffs ought to be working with federal law enforcement officials and by his veto today, Gov. Cooper has signaled that he wants to be a sanctuary governor.”
“Law enforcement officers have a sworn responsibility to protect their citizens—and that includes cooperating with federal authorities,” North Carolina state Sen. Chuck Edwards said. “Governor Cooper, who prefers to pander to his far-left supporters, we will protect North Carolinians and plan to override his irresponsible veto.”
As they have during legislative debate, Republicans cited situations in Mecklenburg County—in and around Charlotte—where violent suspects who were subjects of detainers had been released from jail. Mecklenburg GOP Sen. Dan Bishop, who is running for Congress, said the dissenting sheriffs lacked moderation.
“The only sheriffs who have opposed it are the ones that are actually ignoring these ICE detainers,” Moore said. “They’re the most left of the leftists at this point.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press