Local News

Orange joins immigration enforcement program

Posted January 16, 2009 2:49 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2009 10:09 a.m. EST

— Orange County has joined a federal program that helps local law enforcement identify illegal immigrants when they have been charged with crimes.

New Hanover and Duplin counties also have joined the Secure Communities program. Administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the program gives local law enforcement agencies access to federal immigration databases to help identify illegal immigrants who have been arrested.

Unlike the more controvsersial 287(g) program, Secure Communities doesn't train local officers to initiate deportation proceedings.

“We are excited about having the technology to access the Department of Homeland Security’s and the Department of Justice’s information," Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace said in a statement. "This is another tool in our arsenal to make Duplin County an even safer place to live, work and raise a family.”

Wake and Cumberland counties are among the North Carolina counties that participate in the 287(g) program. Chatham County recently opted not to participate, saying it would disturb the community.