CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Clashing demonstrations in Uptown debate the need for the 287(g) program, which has led to the deportation of more than 15,000 undocumented immigrants.

Protesters were rejected when trying to deliver a letter calling for the immediate end to 297(g) to Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael. Penned by Comunidad Colective, the open letter is signed by 33 organizations and officials. 

“People are being deprived of due process,” protest organizer Oliver Merino said. “If somebody is accused of a crime they are in danger of being deported without having the opportunity of proving their innocence."

During a press conference earlier Tuesday morning, Sheriff Carmichael said 287(g) is just meant to identify criminals already in prison.

"Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office does not participate in ICE community round ups,” Carmichael said.

When asked, Sheriff Carmichael did not know what percent of deportations stemmed from violent crimes or felonies.

Demonstrators from Comunidad Colectiva said the majority stem from minor offenses.