North Carolina defies ICE by releasing nearly 500 illegal immigrants

The state of North Carolina reportedly released 489 illegal immigrants across their state in the last 10 months, despite Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s request for them to be detained, Fox News reported.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano responded to the report on Tuesday, saying “This is a world turned upside-down. … Something screwy is going on in North Carolina.” Napolitano made his comments on “Fox & Friends,” where he added that there is a “danger to public safety” in cases such as this when those suspected violent criminals are released from custody.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden laid the blame for their release on low bond amounts being set by the judges presiding over the cases and argued that the law requires them to be released if they can post the bond, despite ICE’s detainer “request,” which the sheriff seemed to consider optional.

However, according to Napolitano, the bail is not typically set a “low” amount when the person in question is believed to have perpetrated a “crime of violence.” The Fox analyst said that it would have been “inconceivable” to set a suspect free on bail from his courtroom when he was a judge in New Jersey. Napolitano said that such suspects were sent over to separate law enforcement agencies.

“It would violate my oath to uphold the law.”

Fox News reported that, “According to data obtained by WBTV, 489 detainers were declined by law enforcement across the state of North Carolina since the fiscal year began last October,” and that “McFadden had come under fire previously for declaring he would not comply with ICE detainers.”

“In one case in Mecklenburg County, an illegal immigrant was freed on bond in a child rape case. The suspect, Oscar Pacheco-Leonardo, was later apprehended by federal authorities, two months after McFadden ignored an ICE detainer order and released him from custody,” Fox reported.

“You may want to ask a judge the question … on why bonds are set so low, in order for someone to be easily released from the detention center,” McFadden said Monday.

Written by Savannah Pointer.