Immigration Enforcement

Local Immigration Resolutions in North Carolina

What Is Your County Doing About Illegal Immigration?
A Review Of Local Policies in North Carolina

Many local and state officials claim their hands are tied when it comes to immigration enforcement. “It’s a federal issue,” they say – as if to suggest they would change things if only they could. By contrast, the U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed that as “sovereign entities” states and localities “have the inherent authority to enforce civil and criminal violations of federal immigration law.”

While it is true the federal government possesses exclusive authority to regulate immigration, this means Congress is responsible for determining who should or should not be admitted into the United States. Apart from this, the federal government has made it clear it needs local assistance in enforcing immigration law. Consider that there are an estimated 11 million to 40 million illegal aliens in the United States. Yet, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only employs 2,000 federal agents dedicated to interior immigration enforcement. On the upper end, this equates to 1 agent per 20,000 illegal aliens. By contrast, there are approximately 800,000 local law enforcement officers in the United States. This is a ratio of 50 to 1 – much better odds. To facilitate local cooperation in enforcing immigration law Congress created the 287(g) program in 1996. Likewise, federal law generally prohibits the extension of most state and local welfare, retirement, health and postsecondary educational benefits to illegal aliens.

Local governments not only have an important role to play in enforcing federal immigration law, they are duty bound to do so. The North Carolina Constitution affirms that “every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance” to the U.S. Constitution and that “no law or ordinance” may contravene federal law. Similarly, state law (G.S. §11-7) requires every elected and appointed official, including all local officials, to “solemnly and sincerely” swear to support the U.S. Constitution. Per North Carolina law (S.L. 2007-494), all counties and localities should also be participating in the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), if they are not already enrolled in 287(g).

Below is a summary of what North Carolina’s counties and cities are doing to combat illegal immigration.

Alamance County:

  • 287(g) participant

Beaufort County:

  • English as the official language of Beaufort County (Feb. 02, 2006).
  • Removal of all non-English signs/ads/displays from county property, unless required by law (Feb. 08, 2007).
  • Request for quotation (RFQ) for legal advice on how to verify legal status of clients seeking services from the county health department (Nov. 13, 2007).
  • Resolutions opposing admission of illegal aliens to community colleges (Dec. 12, 2007; Jan. 7, 2008; March 6, 2008).
  • English-only requirement for all county-controlled telephone systems, with exceptions made for Adult Protection and Child Protection programs (Feb. 4, 2008; March 6, 2008).
  • Request county manager to seek legal advice in learning how to limit public services and benefits to illegal aliens (Feb. 4, 2008).
  • Resolution requesting that voter registration forms not be in Spanish and that the N.C. Board of Elections verify the legal status of new voters (Feb. 4, 2008).
  • Committee formed to estimate how much illegal immigration is costing the citizens of Beaufort County (April 7, 2008; July 7, 2008).
  • Requirement that county funding for literacy education be limited to the education of legally present persons (June 4, 2008).

Cabarrus County:

  • 287(g) participant

Cumberland County:

  • 287(g) participant

Davidson County:

  • English as the official language of Davidson County (Nov. 14, 2006).

Forsyth County:

  • Requirement that all prospective county employees prove they are legally authorized to work in the United States (Oct. 23, 2006).

Immigration Map

Gaston County:

  • 287(g) participant
  • Cease funding all federal and state non-mandated programs and all local programs that provide services to illegal aliens (Nov. 9, 2006).
  • Prohibit employers with county contracts from hiring illegal aliens (Nov. 9, 2006).
  • Update housing standards and limit the number of persons that may live in rental dwellings (Nov. 9, 2006).
  • Urge county law enforcement to fight illegal alien criminals by “consistently checking” the immigration status of each undocumented resident upon arrest using “accessible data, fingerprints, and/or federally verified social security numbers rather than tax identification numbers” (Nov. 9, 2006).

Henderson County:

  • 287(g) participant

Town of Landis:

  • English as the official language of the Town of Landis (Sept. 11, 2006).

Lincoln County:

  • Cease funding all federal and state non-mandated programs and all local programs that provide services to illegal aliens (June 18, 2007).
  • Require employers with county contracts to cease hiring illegal aliens (June 18, 2007).
  • Urge county law enforcement to fight illegal alien criminals by consistently checking the immigration status of each undocumented resident upon arrest “by such available means as fingerprints, verified social security numbers, and other accessible data” (June 18, 2007).
  • Encourage the county sheriff to partner with ICE to “verify undocumented residents during the investigation or processing of any public safety infraction or offense” and detain illegal aliens for deportation (June 18, 2007).

Mecklenburg County:

  • 287(g) participant

Wake County:

  • 287(g) participant

Want to learn more?

Check out this free guide from the Federation for American Immigration Reform: or contact Dr. Jameson Taylor at, director of policy at the Civitas Institute. You may also want to attend our Illegal Immigration and Local Governments Workshop happening on Friday, September 19th.

September 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. There is no question that this illegal immigration has caused more problems than anyone could have ever imagined. With the Arizona State Illegal Immigration Law upheld in the courts yesterday, there is no excuse for any State not to have a State law to get rid of the ILLEGAL ALIENS.

    The problems they are causing WILL NOT go away until each and every ILLEGAL ALIEN is out of this Country and back in their own country where they belong. Then, and only then, will these problems go away. America has a lot of problems right now, and ILLEGAL ALIENS do not have to be one of them.

    I’m working on Delaware to get a law, and I wouldn’t stop until a law is passed here.

    It’s time for these ILLEGAL ALIENS to pick up their ANCHORS and ship out! Clear enough?

    Comment by Delaware Bob | September 18, 2008

  2. How To Report Immigration Violations” by John Publius is a new trade paperback available on, ISBN: 1440418837, EAN: 9781440418839.

    Comment by Hohn Publius | September 19, 2008

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