El Pueblo 'disappointed' in McCrory remarks on sanctuary cities

Posted July 29, 2015 4:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2015 4:48 p.m. EDT

— Some Latino advocacy groups in the Triangle are disappointed in recent remarks from Gov. Pat McCrory about "sanctuary cities."

During a conference of the North Carolina Sheriff's Association, McCrory said he is opposed to the policy, which has no legal definition but is used by states and municipalities to prevent local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

"Right now, we have major cartels in our state, and I am going to expose those cartels that are involved in drug trafficking and human trafficking," McCrory said. "We cannot allow any sanctuary for drug traffickers, human traffickers or violent criminals in our state."

Angeline Echeverria, executive director of El Pueblo, said the governor should set a more positive tone with the immigrant community.

"We were disappointed to see Gov. McCrory's statement," she said. "There are many positive things that he could be commenting on related to the immigrant community in North Carolina, and he has not made any positive statements during his term as governor."

McCrory also brought up drug cartels over the weekend at a meeting of the National Governor's Association, saying they are having a major impact along the state's major highways.

Echeverria said policies that encourage local police agencies to collaborate with federal immigration agents can have a chilling effect on the reporting of crime within an immigrant community.

"What we would like to promote is for local law enforcement to focus on protecting and serving all of the residents," she said.