Jasmine Beach-Ferrara speaks at a downtown Asheville rally in April following an ICE enforcement action in Buncombe and Henderson counties.
Two Asheville politicians – Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and N.C. Rep. Susan Fisher – have joined a national call to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of Trump administration immigration policies.
The Durham Herald-Sun reports that Beach-Ferrara and Fisher have signed an open letter that has been signed by more than 100 elected officials from across the country. You can read the letter at electedstoabolishice.com. In part, it states:
We are outraged at the recent actions of the administration, which have separated over 2,000 families who came to this country fleeing violence and seeking asylum, only to be detained and cruelly and capriciously separated. We fundamentally believe that our country can and should be a place where people seeking freedom and opportunity can find a home.
In the last two weeks, we have seen countless stories about babies and children being ripped from the arms of their mothers and fathers so that their parents can be funneled, without due process of law, through criminal prosecutions off of which private prison companies stand to make millions of dollars.
As leaders and elected officials, we are committed to ensuring that our communities have the opportunity to thrive – that means everything from keeping our infrastructure up-to-date and creating good jobs to ensure that our kids get a quality education. Above all else, we are responsible for the safety of people in our communities. Our government should encourage civic and community participation and increase the quality of lives of our residents. The presence of ICE in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, places of worship, and homes, makes this impossible.
The letter comes as the Trump administration enacted a policy that separated children from their families at the U.S. border with Mexico. The administration has reversed that policy and is now working to meet a court order to reunite hundreds of young children with their parents.
Earlier this year, ICE officials arrested about a dozen people in an enforcement action in Buncombe and Henderson counties. Beach-Ferrara was one of a handful of local officials who criticized the action and called for support of the families of those detained.