Immigration officials say they're prioritizing their work by first focusing on dangerous criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to our communities.
U.S. Immigration officials were responding to Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James’ original proposal to have Mecklenburg County DSS alert immigration authorities when they’ve identified an illegal immigrant who has applied for public benefits for their U.S. born child. Doing so would violate a memorandum of understanding with Department of Homeland Security.
"ICE welcomes partnering with state and local law enforcement and will evaluate this proposed ordinance, but generally believes that enactment of immigration laws is a federal responsibility,” said Ivan Ortiz, a spokesman for ICE.
Last night, after a contentious debate, Mecklenburg County commissioners blocked a scaled-down version of the proposal to seek federal advice on how the county might report undocumented families of U.S.-born children who receive welfare benefits.
James faced dozens of passionate protesters who charged him with playing dirty politics. James said it was a matter of national security.
"We don't know if they're Osama wannabes," he said.