Gov. Roy Cooper wasted little time in vetoing House Bill 370, “An Act to Require Compliance with Immigration Detainers and Administrative Warrants.”
The House gave the measure final approval Tuesday on a 62-53 vote, with proponents saying the bill was necessary to aid law enforcement in protecting public safety.
But more than 100 national and state organizations joined together to call the bill dangerous, noting that it would tear apart families and strip local law enforcement of their ability to make decisions in the best interest of the public.
Governor Cooper released the following statement in issuing Wednesday’s veto:
“This legislation is simply about scoring partisan political points and using fear to divide North Carolina. As the former top law enforcement officer of our state, I know that current law allows the state to jail and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status.
This bill, in addition to being unconstitutional, weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating sheriffs to do the job of federal agents, using local resources that could hurt their ability to protect their counties. Finally, to elevate their partisan political pandering, the legislature has made a sheriff’s violation of this new immigration duty as the only specifically named duty violation that can result in a sheriff’s removal from office.”