- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Advocacy groups are urging leaders in Charlotte to take a stand on behalf of its immigrant population in light of recent rumors of arrests of undocumented people in the city and across the country.

The Charlotte Observer reports (https://bit.ly/2l20lV2) Action NC, the Latin American Coalition, the NAACP and a handful of other immigrant advocacy groups held a news conference on Friday to express their concerns.

H├ęctor Vaca of Action NC said the immigrant community was told what would be done for them after the elections, and the city council is refusing to do anything.

“The city (council) is afraid of the General Assembly, so what we’re asking for is courage to defend the people they took an oath to represent,” Vaca said.

Social media posts have said Immigration and Customs Enforcement is conducting “raids” to round up and arrest of immigrants who are in the country illegally. ICE has denied conducting raids in Charlotte or anywhere else.

Action NC, which disputes ICE’s claim, says 14 to 17 people were arrested in Charlotte this week. Local Latino media say the number is closer to 21 people.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office both disputed reports this week that they are acting in coordination with ICE during recent arrests.

However, the numbers aren’t being verified by ICE. It says it will have a “snapshot” of Charlotte arrest numbers in a few days. A spokesman for the York County Detention Center, the South Carolina facility where the North Carolina immigration detainees are held, said they cannot comment on how many Charlotteans are being held there. It referred all questions to ICE.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com

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