The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, conducted raids across North Carolina over the past week. ICE agents took several dozen people into custody in the Triangle area and arrested about a dozen people in Western North Carolina, according to a ICE spokesman Bryan Cox. The mayors of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham all released statements condemning the raids in their communities. An immigrant advocate group in Asheville held a rally on Saturday that drew hundreds of people downtown.
But even as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Trump Administration have said their enforcement operations target public safety threats, ICE data paint a different picture. For both arrests and removals, those listed as "non-criminal" by ICE have sharply increased. Under the final two years of the Obama Administration, non-criminal arrests accounted for about one in 10 arrests. In 2017 – the first year of the Trump Administration – that same figure spiked to one in three.
Zooming in on fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30, paints an even clearer picture. The higher enforcement, including higher enforcement of non-criminal illegal residents, spiked immediately as Trump took office.
Host Frank Stasio talks to Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Sam DeGrave about what happened in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. Reporter Berenice Malagón from La Conexion USA shares what happened in the Triangle and how the community is responding. Stasio also talks to Bryan Cox, spokesperson for the Southern Region of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which covers Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.