It’s another disgusting display of partisanship that’s putting American lives in jeopardy.
On Tuesday, the Buncombe County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Office released a convicted child molester from custody.
Why? Because he said ICE never obtained a warrant for his arrest.
“[Marvin] Torres was in the custody of the Buncombe County Detention Center for more than two years with the full knowledge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” read a statement from the sheriff’s office. “During that time ICE sent a detainer request, but failed to secure an arrest warrant and therefore Mr. Torres met the conditions of his release set forth by the judicial system.”
Quentin Miller, who is the Buncombe County Sheriff, is one of a number of North Carolina officials who flat out refuse to cooperate with ICE detainer requests.
“The sheriff’s office will continue to comply with all applicable state and federal laws. However, we do not make or enforce immigration laws; that is not part of our law-enforcement duties,” Miller said.
His comments were made back at a February press conference.
“It is vital that members of our immigrant community can call the sheriff’s office without fear when they are in need of assistance from law enforcement.”
You know what else is vital? That we keep child molesters off the streets.
As far as the release of Torres, Miller said, “If ICE is aware of an individual that they have determined to be a danger to the public safety of Buncombe County, then ICE should obtain a warrant for their arrest.”
In 2017, Torres was arrested. He was convicted this week of “indecent liberties with a minor”, but was only sentenced to time served, after which he was released.
“This is yet another example of how reckless sanctuary policies are putting dangerous criminals back into our communities and impeding the ability of federal law enforcement to do their jobs,” said North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis.
The Republican released a statement on the incident.
“It’s a dereliction of [the sheriff’s] duty to keep North Carolinians safe.”
Just last week, an ICE official revealed in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that L.A. police were releasing up to 100 illegal immigrants per day. That’s under policies implemented by head L.A. sheriff Michael Moore.
“Cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies is critical to the agency’s efforts to identify and arrest removable aliens, and to protect the nation’s security,” the official, Timothy Robbins, said.
He pointed out the danger.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing more jurisdictions that refuse to work with our officers, or directly impede our public safety efforts.”
In August, we shared the story about how Democratic Governor Ray Cooper of North Carolina has chosen which side of the national argument he stands on regarding those who snuck into the country who have committed crimes, and cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)- and it’s not on the side with law enforcement or law-abiding citizens.
On Wednesday August 21st, Cooper vetoed a bill (House Bill-HB 370) that would require state and local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement.
This bill had originally passed the North Carolina House of Representatives along party lines – and previously through the Senate earlier in June of this year. Cooper wasted no time to veto the legislation, less that 24 hours after its passage.
According to NewsObserver.com Cooper justified his veto releasing the following statement:
“This legislation is simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina, 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.
This bill, in addition to being unconstitutional, weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating sheriffs to do the job of federal agents, using local resources that could hurt their ability to protect their counties.”
Cooper went on to further argue against the legislation stating that there was a portion of the bill that required the Sheriff to cooperate with ICE, and failure to do so, could result in the removal of the sheriff from their elected position.
According to CNN, the legislation:
“would have required authorities to determine whether prisoners are legal US residents, and if they were unable to do so, to inquire about their residency status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security and flag to the agencies if someone was in the country illegally.
Authorities also would have been required to allow ICE or DHS officials to interview prisoners upon request and detain prisoners if asked to do so by federal authorities until they could be transferred.”
Several news outlets have attributed the legislation as political posturing and also part of an agenda that is being forced onto states by the Trump administration. However, Republicans in North Carolina have come out in strong support for the legislations, stating it is a way to protect the law-abiding citizens on the state.
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As reported by the Raleigh News & Observer, North Carolina Republican State Senator Chuck Edwards responded to the Democratic Governor’s veto, stating:
“Law-enforcement officers have a sworn responsibility to protect their citizens — and that includes cooperating with federal authorities. Unlike Governor Cooper, who prefers to pander to his far-left supporters, we will protect North Carolinians and plan to override his irresponsible veto.”
Sources say that the Republicans created this legislation in direct response to the election, in the past year, of several new Sheriff’s in largely liberal counties.
In August, we reported about how another North Carolina sheriff was knowingly releasing criminals and rapists onto the streets so he could fulfill his campaign promise.