Incalculable harm to their citizens.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Nearly 500 undocumented immigrants have been released from jails across the state in the past ten months despite administrative detainers filed against them by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

WBTV obtained new data compiled by ICE outlining the figures. The data covers Fiscal Year 2019, which began in October 2018 and runs through next month.

According to the data, 489 detainers were declined by law enforcement.

A detainer is an administrative request from the federal government to a local law enforcement agency to hold someone in jail even after they are eligible for release on their state charge.

A detainer is often used by ICE to keep undocumented immigrants in jail because removal from the country is a civil action and not a criminal matter.

The debate over whether local authorities should cooperate with ICE detainers has raged this year after Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden announced he would no longer honor ICE detainers.

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