immigration

Tom Bullock / WFAE

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department is one of just 37 agencies to participate in a federal program known as 287(g). It allows deputies to take part in enforcing federal immigration laws.

Participation in the program is voluntary and controversial.

On Thursday the Sheriff's Department hoped to answer questions about 287-G by allowing reporters to walk through the process.

Protesters Shout Down City Council With Chants Of 'No More ICE!'

Feb 27, 2017
David T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer

By Bruce Henderson & Steve Harrsion

Angry and scared over the Trump administration’s push to deport undocumented immigrants, about 200 protesters shouted down Charlotte City Council at its Monday night meeting with chants of “No more ICE!” and “Do something!”

The protest started at uptown’s Marshall Park. Activists then marched through uptown and filled the council chambers, where they demanded the city’s elected officials “stand up” to the Trump administration. Some cursed at city officials.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte says portions of Shalom Park on Providence Road were temporarily evacuated Monday following an anonymous phone threat.

The federation's executive director, Sue Worrel, tells WFAE the threat was deemed not credible by law enforcement, but officers were still treating it with all seriousness. Staff members executed security protocols, and upon receiving an all clear from law enforcement, the park resumed normal business operations.

Still from Twitter Video by @ajcookcsa

Students at four CMS schools walked out of class Friday in support of area immigrants. South Mecklenburg High School dismissed classes early after several students say peaceful demonstrations got out of hand.  

Videos of South Meck's walkout posted on Twitter show hundreds of students outside. 

Junior Gletzy Alas helped organize South Meck's walkout. Her parents are immigrants from Honduras.

Several hundred South Mecklenburg High School students defied school faculty by walking out of class Friday morning, chanting and waving Mexican national flags and at times causing chaos according to students on social media.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

By noon, the crowds began to pour into uptown's Marshall Park. The local Spanish-language radio station, La Raza 106.1FM, supplied music as a line of volunteers hauled cases of water bottles into the park and procrastinators hastily scrawled last-minute messages onto sheets of poster board.  

Hundreds of families arrived with school-age children in tow, ignoring CMS officials who urged parents against doing so earlier in the week. One 15-year-old high school student, Ciera Medina, said she should have been at J.M. Robinson High School, but skipped with her four younger siblings.

February's 'Day Without Immigrant' protest drew thousands to uptown's Marshall Park
Tom Bullock / WFAE

Immigrant communities nationwide and in Charlotte staged “A Day Without Immigrants” Thursday. They’re protesting a wave of recent arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in the first major immigration crackdown by the new Trump administration.

Nick de la Canal/WFAE

More than 250 businesses in the Charlotte region will not open Thursday as part of a nationwide campaign called "A Day Without Immigrants," or "Dia Sin Inmigrantes," according to organizers and reports from the Spanish-language newspapers Que Pasa Mi Gente and Hola Noticias, which has kept a running tally on its Facebook page.

Manolo Betancur owns a bakery on Central Avenue. He spoke at Friday's event at the Government Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 680 people nationwide since last week, including more than 100 in the Carolinas, in the Trump administration's first major crackdown on people in the country illegally.  U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly acknowledged the operations in a statement Monday, saying about three-quarters of those arrested were a threat to public safety.  But local immigration lawyers and immigrants say the new administration is sowing fear by casting a wider net.

Hector Vaca of Action NC speaks at a press conference by Latin American and African American leaders Friday at the Government Center.
David Boraks / WFAE

Federal officials say there's nothing new or different about how they've been arresting people for immigration violations in Charlotte this week. But the arrests raised fears in the city's Latin-American community. Many see it as part of a nationwide anti-immigrant campaign led by the White House.

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