3/3/2019 Policing in the United States and Latin America


Policing in the United States and Latin America

(according to the Boone Police Department)

On Thursday night, I sat at the Boone Police Department and listened to some comparisons between policing in the United States and Latin America. The presentation was pitched as a way to build trust between the Boone Police Department and the local Latino community. There was coffee, some cupcakes, and interpretation—things that made the two hour presentation bearable. The content, on the other hand, left me with more questions than answers.

  • Why was it suggested that guns in Mexico were coming from the Islamic State?
  • Why didn’t anyone know the difference between sensitive locations (as defined by ICE) and sanctuary?
  • Why wasn’t the process for obtaining body camera footage explained and instead people were told to attend another session?
  • And as one woman asked, “what is the percentage or amount that immigrants in the community can be safe from ICE here in Boone?”
  • Are presentations like these, both reifying negative stereotypes (like corruption is more common in Africa and Latin America) and further creating divisions between people of color?

There were lots of things that were frustrating about this meeting, but one that continues to sit with me is the idea that we would know if ICE came and picked up a member of our communities. But is that true? Would you know if one of your neighbors, particularly one who recently migrated with little to no local connections, just disappeared in the early morning? In my Introduction to Criminology class, we spend the first few weeks talking about how resorting to criminal/delinquent acts may result from various conditions in society and why it is that we expect various social bonds to minimize delinquent activity. Yet, these social bonds should also create a structure where we should be able to at least know whether or not a person is arrested by any law enforcement agency. But for people who have recently migrated, these local social bonds would probably be limited and challenging to develop given language barriers among other things.

During the ICE arrests that took place across the state in February (what now seems like years ago), there were reports that these ICE arrests were taking place in Monroe, NC—right outside of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. Yet, I think many of us still don’t know where the 200+ ICE arrests (the number released in ICE press releases/statements) came from. And unfortunately, we may never know given how hard it is to request and access this type of information. But this isn’t just a problem of accessing information from ICE. During the presentation by the Boone Police Department, an officer said that a person’s legal status was interrogated twice in the past three years by the agency. That same officer then proceeded to describe the cases in-depth. Since I spend a lot of time constructing public records requests about this information, I asked where that information would be made available, although I expected like most law enforcement agencies, these types of things are not provided to the public. As expected, I was directed to ask this officer or to go to the Clerk of Court to request this information.

Overall, and in response to the question about Boone being free from ICE presence, the officers also agreed that ICE has not come into Boone in the past 17 years. Of course, that does not lessen anyone’s fear of it happening. One of the other presenters (unclear of his relationship to the Boone Police Department) also reiterated a point that Bryan Cox previously made in our episode of The State of Things—that ICE has limited resources and personnel to conduct wide-spread arrests. Although we cannot count on this, it was clear that many of the ICE personnel present in the state during the recent ICE arrests were coming from nearby states.

I assume these factors were only part of the considerations taken into account in another Western, NC county. On Wednesday, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced in a press conference, an end to the usage of ICE detainers. Also featured in this article is a reference to Henderson County’s 287(g) policy, where Sheriff Lowell Griffin has mostly been concerned with the cost of the program (I give a quick timeline of instances where these cost concerns come up in Board of Commissioner meetings below, more of this information will be on the website that is a work in progress with my research assistants).

Relevant Highlights for this Week

Art Exhibit and Performance: Civil Presence by Stacey L. Kirby is currently at Appalachian State University and I took my Race & Ethnicity Class to visit the gallery.

Article(s)/Book(s): The History of San Francisco Sanctuary City Policy-A Dissertation by Peter Mancina that has a wonderful methodology appendix and has been a great starting point for me to think through how immigrants navigate the juvenile justice system. This wonderful map and coverage of NC Sheriffs and ICE collaboration by Daniel Nichanian for The Appeal.

Meeting(s): Faculty Salary meeting last Monday (I made it into the photo), which was potentially the worst show of bureaucracy, led by a former Sheriff who is now on the Board of Governors for the UNC System.


Henderson County Budget and Board of Commissioner Considerations
January 2009 BOC Meeting: Sheriff Rick Davis reported Net Revenue = +$43,196.13
April 15, 2009 BOC Meeting: ICE Program Statistics Presented
December 7, 2009 BOC Meeting: ICE Program Statistics Presented
May 03, 2009 BOC Meeting: Mention of U-Visa usage and 287(g) stats presented
August 02, 2010 BOC Meeting: ICE Program Statistics Presented
May 22, 2012 BOC Meeting: Additional Personnel Request, transfer request to cover new personnel, $48,388 for Deputy III.
July 17, 2013 BOC Meeting: Federal funding reimbursements are down between 30-40% from last fiscal year 2012 due to fewer transports.
March 13, 2014 BOC Meeting: The YTD deficit in ICE fund is due to lower reimbursements being realized compared to previous years as well as the timing delay in receiving payments—federal ICE revenues for Jan will not be received until March.
May 22, 2014 BOC Meeting: Significant issues with program–all reductions are due to an anticipated decline in federal revenues for the ICE program, $300,000 in revenues are anticipated, with the remaining $169,151 funded with Fund Balance. Steve Wyatt informed the board that enough money had been saved to continue with the ICE program for 1 more year. Federal funding has stopped, and ICE was started as an Enterprise Fund.
Amy Brantly stated the ICE program began in 2007 with a gradual build of 8 positions. The revenues are declining rapidly now. Staff will be reduced to seven this year.
Jerry Rice noted that administration is working to transition folks to other positions within the Sheriff’s dept.
May 4, 2015 BOC Meeting: (p.4) The YTD deficit in the ICE fund is due to the phase out/completion of participation in this federal program by the Sheriff’s Dept/detention center and final program funding received through December 31, 2014. Fund balance has been appropriated in this Fund to cover expenditures.
May 20, 2015 BOC Meeting: budget information and significant issues-The FY 16 Proposed Budget includes one (1) position transferred from the Legal Department and one position transferred from ICE.
  • ICE was a program that started about seven years ago, and said we would fund it as long as it funds itself. It is no longer funding itself and has finished. A few positions were transitioned within the general fund. There are three that will be seen in the Detention budget that we have not recommended for funding.



2/22/2019: Labor and Immigration

2/14/2019: The “New” Normal