ASHEVILLE, N.C. — About 40 people have been arrested in North Carolina in raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Bryan Cox with the agency’s Atlanta office said about 15 people were arrested in western North Carolina last week. Cox told the Asheville-Citizen Times about 25 people were also arrested in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.

Cox could not say whether federal immigration officials had arrested people in other parts of the state, explaining he can only confirm arrest reports.

Mike Meno with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina criticized the raids, saying the enforcement effort breaks up families across the state.

Cox said everyone arrested has been charged with illegal entry to the United States. But he says most of the people were targeted because of previous criminal activity.


Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com