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NC sheriff defends immigration deportation program

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CHARLOTTE — A North Carolina sheriff says he’ll continue to use a controversial program that allows deputies to report suspected illegal immigrants after they’re arrested on other
charges.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chip Bailey said Monday that deputies don’t actively look for illegal immigrants. He said all individuals are asked about their citizenship while being booked into jail. If they say they’re not a U.S. citizen, they are reported to immigration officials.

The sheriff’s office is among more than 60 state or local law enforcement agencies that participates in the federal program, which was criticized last week by the U.S. Government
Accountability Office.

The agency said the program is being used to round up minor offenders instead of serious criminals, a criticism echoed by Latino advocacy groups in North Carolina.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Story summary

A North Carolina sheriff says he’ll continue to use a controversial program that allows deputies to report suspected illegal immigrants after they’re arrested on other
charges.

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Associated poll

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