The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to deport undocumented residents, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said they’re standing by their policy.
“We do not enforce federal immigration policy,” said CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano.
Tufano said the department continues to focus on its outreach efforts to the Latino community.
“Crime fighting, public safety is a collective thing. We can’t do this our own,” Tufano said. “We have large populations of the Latino communities who we need to work with. All hands on deck when it comes to this stuff.”
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The Trump administration is reportedly expanding the list of undocumented residents who should be deported.
People who are in the country illegally and are charged, convicted, or suspected of crime – even minor crimes or traffic violations – can get thrown out of the country.
Some in the Latino community said their normal day-to-day routine has changed because of the threat of deportation. Last week thousands of people marched and rallied in Charlotte for a “Day Without Immigrants.”
Despite President Donald Trump’s stand on cracking down on illegal immigration, CMPD said it is standing its ground because crime fighting is more important to the department than deportation.
“Trust is a big thing. We realize that. And this is a community that hasn’t always been traditionally trustful of police,” Tufano said. “We don’t want to do anything to foster that distrust or put a wedge between us and them.”
Tufano said Chief Kerr Putney has done interviews with Spanish-speaking media outlets, and officers have been doing outreach to the Latino community. But CMPD admits images of federal agents on the ready to pick up and deport people could drown out CMPD’s talk of outreach.
“There’s always concern. That’s why it’s just so critically important that we triple down on those efforts,” Tufano said. “That we can’t give up those efforts to let them know what our position is, let them know how valuable they are as members of this community.”