NOW Charlotte Supporting County Opposition to 287g

NOW Charlotte was well represented at the Mecklenburg County Commissioner’s meeting on March 20, 2018, supporting county opposition to 287g. The federal 287g program is a collaboration between state or local law enforcement and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal program that allows local law enforcement to carry out immigration enforcement duties. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has deported over 15,000 people in Mecklenburg County. NOW Charlotte signed onto an anti-287g letter that was signed by over 40 organizations demanding the end of the program.

Melba Evans, NOW Charlotte President, gave an impassioned speech against 287g. Here is her 3 minute speech:

“I am Melba Evans, President of the Charlotte Chapter of the National Organization for Women. We signed the letter opposing 287g.”

“Tonight, I am no longer Melba Evans. Tonight, I am the voice of hundreds of women in our community who stay silent and struggle alone in pain and fear every single day in our communities. I am the echo of their pleas to YOU for help.”

  • “Last year I was raped while I was walking through one of the streets of Charlotte, but I didn’t say anything.”
  • “My husband beats me and my children every day, but I don’t say anything.”
  • “I work in a factory, where my boss forces me to do sexual favors in exchange for keeping my job, but I don’t say anything. “
  • “I know that these things are wrong. I know these people should pay for what they did to me and my family, but still I do not say anything.”
  • “Why? Because I fear the police. I believe that the police are worse than all the things that have happened to me. They will separate me from my children. They will send me to a country that can only offer me more violence and more suffering. They will turn ME into the criminal.”

“No, this did not happen to me. This isn’t my story – but it is the story of the lives of many immigrant women who hide in terror of telling the truth and putting the real criminals away. These are the stories that the National Organization For Women has heard over the years. Every one of these scenarios is real and documented right here in our community. And every time one of our sisters refuses to report a crime for fear of being deported, we hear her cry and we feel her pain. We have been raped, beaten, abused and mistreated. Tonight, the National Organization for Women is here to advocate for our immigrant sisters. “

“It is a myth that 287g makes our communities safer. In fact, it does the opposite. Studies from the UNC Chapel Hill found that 287(g) agreements in North Carolina were primarily used to target offenders who posed no threat to public safety and a large percentage were arrested for minor traffic violations. Additionally, the 287g program is breaking down the bridges of trust that CMPD has been trying to establish in our immigrant communities. The Sheriff’s office is failing not only to protect the general population by not encouraging immigrant women to come forward, but it is oppressing immigrant women and girls making them hide in shame of crimes that others committed against them.”

“We are better than this. Please hear our voices. Hear the cries of our immigrant sisters.”

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