A North Carolina sheriff on Tuesday told his county’s leaders criminal immigrants are “raping our citizens in many, many ways,” according to a video posted to YouTube.
Terry Johnson made the comment while asking Alamance County Board of Commissioners to add $2.8 million in federal funding to his budget to house inmates for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service.
“The people that we’re trying to hold here are criminal illegal immigrants that is actually raping our citizens in many, many ways,” Johnson said in a meeting video the county posted on YouTube.
“I am asking commissioners tonight to look after my detention officers and make it available to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold ICE inmates that has: One, violated the law when they crossed the border, and two come into the United States and victimized our citizens,” he added.
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The commission approved the increase of $2.8 million, which will go into the sheriff’s budget to cover possible ICE and U.S. Marshals Service contracts, WGHP reported.
“The jails are full all over this nation of immigrants, criminal immigrants,” Johnson said. “Not the people just crossing the border but the people who are coming here for a reason to victimize our children, our citizens with drugs, murders, rapes, robberies, you name it.”
“Some of the people, including sheriffs, in this state and nation is saying, ‘Well that’s not our problem,’” Johnson added. “It is their problem. They swore to uphold the law. Whether we like the law or not, we took an oath to uphold that law.”
The Alamance County sheriff’s office signed a contract for more than $500,000 with the U.S. Marshals Service and has a $2 million ICE contract under review, according to the Burlington Times-News. Part of the budget increase will also go toward a pay raise for detention officers, which have a high turnover rate, the media outlet reported.
“We feel like that would be a good recruiting tool,” said County Manager Bryan Hagood, the Burlington Times-News reported. “The idea would be to try to attract experienced new detention officers and to encourage the detention officers we already have to stay with us.”
Sheriffs in Durham and Wake counties last month announced they would no longer cooperate with ICE and hold people who are in the country illegally for the federal agency, The News & Observer reported.