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Moe Davis and others oppose 287G, county partnership with ICE

Moe Davis, Democratic candidate for the 11th congressional district, and four other individuals spoke to oppose Henderson County's involvement with ICE and the 287G program during public comment at the meeting of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners Monday.


The 287G program is intended to identify and deport undocumented immigrants arrested for violating state laws, however, the speakers opposed it on grounds of ineffectiveness, unconstitutionality and how it tears families apart.

Davis said he opposed the program. He described his education and career in criminal justice and 25-year service in the military. Davis was a colonel and served as chief prosecutor for the terrorist trials at Guantanamo Bay, he said, "So, I'm not against the police and I love this country, despite the way some other folks want to portray it."

Davis said, "This is an ineffective program. It's short on substance and long on symbolism." He said the program is declining in funding nationally and that many communities have lost money in it. "I think you could use your resources a lot better, and a lot more efficiently, and a lot more inclusively," he said.

Cristal Figueroa, a resident of Hendersonville, said the program is strictly political and does not help the community. She said ICE is asking the Sheriffs department to incarcerate people on civil matters, "like writing a 50 dollar bad check," after they have posted bail.

Gabriela Mendez works with the Hispanic community and she said people who could be helped by the Sheriffs Department are afraid of them because they are working with ICE.

Other speakers included Melanie Noyes, a resident of Asheville, and Gayle Kemp, a resident of Fletcher. Noyes said she was concerned about secrecy surrounding the program. She said the Sheriff extended the deal in March, early and in the midst of COVID-19. Kemp said the program is not "family-freindly" and told a story of a local family being split by ICE.