Activists still opposing immigration bill rally

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- About a dozen immigration advocates showed up Thursday to the Wake County Detention Center in the middle of a meeting with federal agents.

The protesters were wearing shirts that read "Stop the Hate" and chanting that they want ICE agents out of North Carolina. They say undocumented workers are being targeted unfairly.

"We decided to speak up because we're no long willing to stand at the margins," said Nayley Perez-Huerta.

Right now, there are 17 federal immigration officers stationed at the Wake County Detention Center. In 2015, they have deported 294 illegal immigrants accused in aggravated crimes.

The federal agency held a meeting to get some input on improving their 287(g) program. The 287(g)program allows local law enforcement to partner with ICE to assist with immigration law.

Read More: ICE 287g information about ICE's top partnership initiatives with state and local law enforcement

Read More: ICE 287g Fact Sheet

"The system is not perfect," said ICE Deputy Field Office Director Robert Alfrieri.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the program and the county's partnership with ICE is working.

"I feel like people feel safer, even (the) Hispanic community," said Harrison.

A few of the people that demonstrated at the meeting faced a judge Thursday morning on civil disobedience charges.

Ivanna Cristina Gonzalez, Martha Iliana Santillan-Carril, Maria Carmen Rodriguez, Nayely Irais Perez-Huerta, David Salazar-Montalvo, and Angeline Marie Echeverria.

images courtesy Raleigh-Wake City-County Bureau of Identification

Six people were arrested in October. They chained themselves together and blocked traffic outside of the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh. Police had to use power tools to cut the protesters apart.

The demonstrators were angry Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB-318 into law. That legislation stops municipalities from adopting Sanctuary City policies. It also prevents protecting undocumented workers.

McCrory has said the law is not discriminatory and the goal is to reduce crime.


Perez-Huerta is one of the six people who was arrested.

"This bill will not make our community safer. It doesn't protect anyone. The title of the law is totally misleading. We need to make sure that this type of legislation does not continue to emerge in North Carolina," said Perez-Huerta.

The fight will continue in February for the six people who were arrested outside of the Governor's Mansion. That's when their next court appearance is scheduled.

Nobody was arrested at Thursday's demonstration.

Read More: Civil Immigration Priorities

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