COOPER: Immigration bill unconstitutional

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is speaking out more strongly against a Republican measure to force sheriffs to recognize requests from immigration agents to hold inmates and to check the immigration status of everyone in their jails.

Cooper said in a news release the bill getting Senate floor debate Monday evening is unconstitutional and about "scoring political points and using fear to divide us." His stance signals a likely veto if the bill reaches his desk.

GOP lawmakers say the bill is about protecting residents from criminals who are in the country unlawfully.

Several African American sheriffs from the most populated counties are no longer complying with detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those sheriffs have accused GOP legislators of unfairly targeting them due to partisanship and race.

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