Do Smith and Cunningham Still Support Sanctuary Cities After Yesterday’s Release Of An Illegal Immigrant Child Molester In Buncombe County?

Even Democratic County District Attorney Todd Williams Did Not Approve Of Release

October 31st, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Less than a week after WFAE published an interview in which Democratic candidate for Senate Cal Cunningham defended sanctuary policies, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office yesterday released an illegal immigrant convicted of child molestation, without notifying federal immigration officials. The release of 26-year-old Marvin Orlando Ramirez Torres came at the objection of both Democratic county District Attorney Todd Williams and Andrew Murray, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

And while Senator Tillis railed against the development, calling it, “another example of how reckless sanctuary policies are putting dangerous criminals back into our communities and impeding the ability of federal law enforcement to do their jobs,” his two potential Democratic challengers in the North Carolina Senate race were silent.

“As the case in Buncombe County illustrates, the risks posed by sanctuary policies are every bit real, and violent criminals will continue to be released on to the streets of North Carolina until Senator Tillis’ bills are signed into law,” said Tillis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo. “It’s beyond irresponsible that Cal Cunningham and Erica Smith would rather put the people they wish to govern in danger than speak out in opposition to sanctuary cities. How can the Democrats in this race continue support these policies when even law enforcement officials from their own party like District Attorney Williams are condemning them?”

Both Cal Cunningham and Erica Smith support sanctuary policies.

Sanctuary policies being deployed by sheriffs across North Carolina have garnered increased attention in recent months. WBTV-Charlotte  recently reported that nearly 500 undocumented immigrants, including people charged with sex offenses, kidnapping, arson and homicide, have been released from jails across the state in the past ten months despite detainers filed against them by ICE. As WRAL noted in September, one of those cases was Furmencio Miranda-Cortazar, a registered sex offender who is in the U.S. illegally and was released from the Wake County jail, despite ICE’s objections.

Senator Tillis has introduced two separate pieces of legislation to address the risks posed by sanctuary cities across the country. The measures:

  • Would compel local law enforcement officials to honor federal detainer requests or face possible civil action by victims and the loss of federal grants.
  • Would offer sheriffs incentives to cooperate with ICE.