Town Council Resolutions on Civil Immigration TONIGHT

Tonight the Chapel Hill Town Council has on its agenda a petition from the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee proposing A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION and A RESOLUTION TO REDRESS SOME OF THE HARM CAUSED BY THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF SIMA FALLAHI. See the pdf of the resolutions and full text bellow the fold. Tonights full agenda is located here. Learn more about what happened to Sima in the OP posts Free Sima and Sima Update.
(Text is subject to change)

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION AGENDA #3a(3)

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY THAT THE CHAPEL HILL POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT SEEK TO ARREST PERSONS WHEN THE SOLE BASIS FOR ARRESTING SUCH PERSONS IS THAT SUCH PERSONS HAVE OR MAY HAVE COMMITTED A CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION

WHEREAS, in Section 15A-401 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the General Assembly has specified the circumstances under which law enforcement officers may arrest persons, with or without an arrest warrant;

and

WHEREAS, the list of circumstances under which a person may be arrested does not include an arrest of persons whose only known violation of law is or may be a civil violation of federal immigration statutes;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. It shall be the policy of the Town of Chapel Hill not to arrest or take into custody persons when the sole basis for arresting or taking such persons into custody is that they have or may have committed a civil immigration violation.

Section 2. This resolution shall become effective upon adoption.

This the 26th day of February 2007.

A RESOLUTION TO REDRESS SOME OF THE HARM CAUSED BY THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF SIMA FALLAHI

WHEREAS, the Town of Chapel Hill is committed to the human and civil rights of its residents and to actions that preserve and protect those rights, demonstrated by its stand on October 8, 2003, in voting to protect its residents against unconstitutional actions (2003-10-08/R-5.1);

and

WHEREAS, enforcement of civil immigration laws has historically been a federal obligation considered off-limits to state and local law enforcement;

and

WHEREAS, serious concerns have been raised regarding the ability of state and local police to prevent and solve crimes when non-citizens fear that state and local enforcement officers will enforce immigration laws against them;
and

WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council regrets the tragic consequences of the detention of Sima Fallahi for a civil violation of a federal immigration statute, resulting in her subsequent imprisonment, separation from her eleven-year-old daughter Leila, and the threat of deportation leading to probable imprisonment in her native Iran;

and

WHEREAS, members of the community have come forward to support Sima and Leila Fallahi, including incurring legal costs which will be at least $10,000 to $1 5,000;

and

WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council seeks to redress some of the harm that has been done in this instance;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. To make a significant contribution to the legal costs incurred in providing effective legal counsel to Sima Fallahi in her effort to reopen her case and seek political asylum in the United States.

Section 2. This resolution shall be effective upon adoption.
This the 26th day of February, 2007

Issues: 

Total votes: 334

Comments

For folks who weren't there or watching, Sima's daughter and the friends taking care of here were also there, and Peggy Misch spoke (at length) about these two petitions brought the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee (one to apologize and offer reparations to Sima, and one to make sure nothing like this ever happens in Chapel Hill again). The Council received and referred both petitions, so look for those to come back at a future meeting.

I'm as pro-immigration as it gets, but should towns really be consciously telling their police officers *not* to enforce laws they don't like?

I mean, that's illegal, right?

The Town of Carrboro already has "A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION". What is being proposed in Chapel Hill is not new.

Part of Carrboro policy:

WHEREAS, in Section 15A-401 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the General Assembly has specified the circumstances under which law enforcement officers may arrest persons, with or without an arrest warrant; and

WHEREAS, the list of circumstances under which a person may be arrested does not include an arrest of persons whose only known violation of law is or may be a civil violation of federal immigration statutes;

There is also information from the Chapel Hill police that has been shared with community members about a change in their policy concerning arrest for civil immigration violation. See this OP comment.

Police Attorney Terrie Gale is in the process of formalizing our immigration enforcement protocols for inclusion in the department's policy manual. Within the past month all officers have received training from Ms. Gale on our enforcement protocols.

Finally, North Carolina General Statute 128-1.1 authorizes local law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements with federal agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal statutes and regulations. Some North Carolina agencies have entered into such agreements for the purposes of being local agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We have not and will not enter into such agreements.

The first petition is about formal policy change. Not about changing the law or asking police to ignore the law.

Hmmm. Learn something new every day.

Still, does that mean if we happen to know for a fact someone is illegal and know exactly where they are, the police will not act? Because that doesn't really seem right -- at least for policemen who're sworn to uphold the law.

I was working in a local (un-named) place in Chapel Hill. The guy who unlocked the door in the morning was illegal. On morning he came in and heard burglers trying to bust the safe. Rather then call the police, and in his mind, risk deportation, re re-locked the door and left for a few hours. The bad guys got away, abet empty handed. Had he not feared becouse of his immigation status things would have turned out otherwise. Perhaps by turning a blind eye to one sort of law breaking the police could have enforced the law in a case of greater crime.

Isn't that a case for the prosecutors? I mean, cops aren't the ones who make plea bargains or decide a crime was in self-defense or otherwise justified.

In this Mayan's case it was up to himself. He didn't know wat the police or prosecuter would do so he took the road he thought was safest. I'd do the same. What would you do; protect your McJob employer or go back to ElSalivdore

The Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee has continued to support the US Constitution, NC Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments of the US Constitution). The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The case of Sima Fallahi illustrates what has been occurring in the US since 9/11, as persons are incarcerated when they are suspected of some criminal act "without due process of law."

Currently immigrants' records are entered into a huge federal database. Local police check this when an immigrant for some reason encounters a local officer. This database may state the individual's criminal felony, civil offense, or an OUTSTANDING DEPORTATION ORDER without any reason given. The resolution proposed February 26 is to make clear that Chapel Hill should not do the job for the Homeland Security to detain all illegal immigrants who have or may have committed a civil immigration violation, as did Sima Fallahi.

Of course local police should detain criminals.

Contact Bill of Rights Defense Committee, www.bordc.org.

 

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