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Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin Grapples With ICE Relationship

photo of Sheriff Lowell Griffin at his desk
Henderson County Sheriff's Office
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The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this week that would force county sheriff departments to assist with detaining immigrants or face a stiff fine. This bill comes in the wake of many sheriff departments around the state choosing to end their cooperation with  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement through both detainers and the 287 (g) program.

Henderson County is among a handful of counties in the state that honors ICE detainers and participates in 287(g), an agreement that allows local law enforcement officials to collaborate with federal officials to enforce immigration laws. Host Frank Stasio talks with Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin about his choice to honor ICE detainers and his upcoming decision on whether or not to renew the 287 (g) contract in June. Griffin was sworn in as the new sheriff late last year, but he is hardly new to the area. The lifelong resident worked his way up through the ranks and attracted rural voters with his focus on community. His first order of business as sheriff was to dismantle the department’s structure. By dividing the county into four sections and assigning a district captain to each, he hopes to make law enforcement a more integral part of the community and establish a stronger relationship between his staff and residents.

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Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
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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