County supports ‘roundup’ of illegal aliens

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2007

By Staff
Richardson calls for more narcotics officers
By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
Beaufort County commissioners’ discussion again turned to illegal immigrants Monday night when they voted 5-1 to support sheriffs’ efforts to “round ‘em up.”
Commissioners voted to support a resolution by the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, which calls for “adequate” funding of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency that would enable state law-enforcement agencies to participate in “ICE” programs.
The association’s resolution urges all levels of state government “to take whatever steps are necessary … to authorize … law-enforcement personnel … to enforce all laws regarding detention and deportation of illegal aliens,” according to one section of the four-page document.
There is “an estimated minimum” of 400,000 illegal aliens in North Carolina, according to the resolution. “The lack of immigration law enforcement continues to drain the resources of North Carolina at an alarming pace,” the document reads.
Last month, Richardson sought to have Spanish-language signs removed from county property. The measure passed 6-1, with Commissioner Ed Booth dissenting.
Commissioner Al Klemm, speaking in support of the resolution, quoted a Daily News article.
Booth said he could find a section of the same article to support his lone dissenting vote Monday.
Richardson contended that illegal immigrants offered “a net disadvantage to the county.”
After the resolution passed, Richardson stayed in the law-enforcement vein.
He started the commissioners’ budget discussion a little early, saying the county should pay for more narcotics officers at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.
“We need to put the same kind of enforcement in the city (of Washington) and towns that we have in the county,” he said. Richardson said the county would do a better job of getting rid of narcotics.
Chief Deputy Harry Meredith said three more narcotics officers could help staff the city and could be sent out to the surrounding towns on an as-needed basis.
He said salaries, benefits and equipment for three narcotics officers would cost between $200,000 and $225,000.