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Cumberland County sheriff withdraws from ICE enforcement program

Posted December 6, 2009

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— Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler has decided to pull his department's participation in a federal program to identify illegal immigrants charged with crimes.

The federal 287(g) program is administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under it, ICE agents give local law enforcement agencies access to federal immigration databases so they can identify illegal immigrants they have arrested on local charges. ICE trains officers how to initiate deportation cases against those people.

Debbie Tanna, the sheriff's spokeswoman, told WRAL News on Sunday that Butler's decision came after ICE asked for jail space and resources that were not available. The jail operates at full capacity, Tanna added.

ICE also wanted county employees assigned to work with the program to waive their rights to privacy. Bulter said honoring that request would have violated state personnel regulations, according to Tanna.

Cumberland has participated in the program since June 2008.

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted in January against participating in the ICE program, saying that doing so could have negative consequences for the community. Chatham has a significant Latino population.

Wake and Alamance counties still participate in the ICE program, and Orange County is part of a separate ICE program called Secure Communities that doesn't include the deportation portion of 287(g).


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  • 6079 SMITH W Dec 7, 2009

    Count me in "Democrats for report and deport, Inc."

  • dono422 Dec 7, 2009

    Illegals should only be deported after they serve their time for the crimes committed. ICE is a joke, there are only a few agents in NC which is reportedly #3 in the illegal alien population. Democrats want them as citizens because most of them would vote for dems that's why you won't see any legislation or a fence. Enforce the existing laws!!! Funding for more Border Patrol Agents and ICE is needed.

  • go4gin Dec 7, 2009

    IF I lived in Fayetteville he wouldn't be sheriff after the next election!

  • Gaz Dec 7, 2009

    God help us.

  • affirmativediversity Dec 7, 2009


    And what, exactly, what the Federal/State/County cost share on that fancy new jail Moose Butler is so proud of and now refuses to admit federal prisoners into?

    How about the Federal and State Dollars poured into Cumberland County...specifically for law enforcements...do you know the dollar amount of GRANTS and EARMARKS?

    To say there is NO FEDERAL MONEY COMING IN is silly. All you have to do to see some is go on your local Congressman's website and look under their EARMARKS...or better yet...go to the Whitehouse's Porkfest Allocation site and click on Cumberland County!

    Lets tell this like it is...its the FIRST STEP TO A SANCTUARY CITY FOR CRIMINAL MIGRANTS!

    As long as you insist on voting in Democrats this will only get worse!

  • squawk08 Dec 7, 2009

    I can see why Cumberland County sheriff is opting out, this program is costly and there is absolutely 0 federal dollars to help fund the program. Its the federal government's responsibility to get rid of the illegal immigrants, but lets face it they are not going to, they have had chance after chance to enact laws that cut off the main sources of life for illegals-welfare, jobs, anchor babies, etc..but the choose not to do so.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 7, 2009

    All illegal immigrants are criminals who are in this country illegally.

    They should be arrested and deported back to their home country.

  • affirmativediversity Dec 7, 2009

    And what is Moose Butler's political party affiliation?

    Gosh, it wouldn't be the same as the Federal and State Government would it...you know THOSE PEOPLE that want AMNESTY?

    Democrats are Democrats are Democrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • chfdcpt Dec 7, 2009

    When this program first came out, I made a mention that the feds will get all the press, and the local agencies would get the lower end of the pole.

    What it amounts to is the feds not wanting to enforce the immigration laws due to politics. You have a problem with that? I wish you would remember that come the next election.

  • aintbackingdwn Dec 7, 2009

    Oh..I see - It's cheaper to sweep up the carnage on our highways from the Illegals crash derbys after a drunken trip across town. It's cheaper to waist the 911 resources, fire and rescue on illegals. It's cheaper to pay illegals under the table tax free than it is to hire some of the +10% American unemployed at the moment.