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A New 287-G Program Spreads In North Carolina

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official stands with his back to the camera as someone is led away by other officials.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
A new program creates agreements between North Carolina sheriffs and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What it does is it truly harms collaboration and communication with local communities and law enforcement. It makes people fearful of seeking help ... It just will not make anybody safe. - Stefania Arteaga

Sheriffs in North Carolina are signing new agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the new Warrant Service Officer program, local law enforcement officials can serve federal administrative warrants and transfer detainees into ICE custody.


The program is part of 287(g), the controversial section of the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act that allows local law enforcement to collaborate with ICE. Ten North Carolina counties have joined the Warrant Service Officer program since the beginning of 2020. Host Frank Stasio talks to Rockingham County Sheriff Samuel Page, the first sheriff in the state to join the program, about why he decided to sign on and what the collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE looks like in his jurisdiction.

It may be the actual agreements are publicly available, but as far as getting information about the number of adults who might be deported through this program ... [Or] what they're actually coming into the jail for — that's the kind of level of information that I don't think is as transparent. - Felicia Arriaga

Then, Stefania Arteaga, Felicia Arriaga and Bryan Cox further explore how the Warrant Service Officer program continues to shape the relationship between local residents and law enforcement around the state. Arteaga is the acting regional immigrants' rights strategist for the ACLU of North Carolina, as well as the co-founder of Comunidad Colectiva and of the Carolina Migrant Network. Arriaga is an assistant professor in the department of sociology at Appalachian State University who studies immigration. And Cox is the public affairs director of the Southeastern Region of ICE.

The argument that the country that admits more legal immigrants is somehow anti-immigrant for enforcing laws that we do have — just as every other country on earth does — to me is simply cognitive dissonance. - Bryan Cox


Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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