Trump-Supporting N.C. Sheriff Kicked To The Curb In Major Midterm Election Upset

-

Since Mr. Trump’s election, the climate towards immigrants has been growing more hostile as times goes on. Back in July, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arapio was found guilty of criminal contempt after having become infamous for racially profiling Latinos during patrols and turning them over to federal immigration authorities.

Now, according to NBC News:

‘Voters in North Carolina’s largest county, which includes Charlotte, ousted their sheriff last week in a Democratic primary fought over immigration and criminal justice reform.’

Sheriff Irwin Carmichael was a supporter of the immigration program known as 287 (g) in which local law enforcement agencies work with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) to hand over undocumented immigrants who are arrested on unrelated crimes.

The American Civil Liberties Union even invested a large amount of money in the Mecklenburg County race, hoping “to use it as a model as they look for ways to resist the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown at all levels of government.” Ronald Newman, the director of strategic initiatives for the civil liberties group said:

‘We are absolutely seeking to put folks on notice.’

The ACLU spent a grand total of $175,000, which is almost three times the amount that the winner on Tuesday raised in just the first quarter of the year, and surprisingly, helped to turn around a race that the incumbent was predicted to lose. NBC News reported:

‘Garry McFadden, a retired homicide detective who has been recognized by former President Barack Obama, won the three-way primary on Tuesday with 52 percent of vote.

‘Incumbent Sheriff Irwin Carmichael came in a distant third, with 20 percent of the vote, blaming “outside influences” and the immigration issue for his loss, even as he defended his policies.’
Because there is no Republican on the ballot, McFadden is effectively the sheriff-elect for the county.
Like Sheriff Arapio, Carmichael strongly pushed for harsh and controversial actions towards immigrants and even appeared on Fox News in March to defend the 287 (g) program and refute those who “say that we’re ripping families apart.” Carmichael said:
‘I always tell everyone, you will never ever encounter this program unless you are arrested and charged with a crime.’
According to NBC:
‘McFadden, who is African-American, ran on a pledge to end local participation in the 287(g) program, improve police transparency, and enhance conditions at the jail run by the department.’
McFadden says the program has been a barrier to solving several murder cases because some witnesses refuse to cooperate out of fear that they will be put on ICE’s watch and possibly even be deported. McFadden said:

‘The witnesses are scared. We can make progress, but we need to have the community involved.’

The ACLU does not support or oppose candidates, but since Trump’s election they have become involved in the issues more frequently. What the organization did was make a scorecard explaining where each sheriff candidate stood on the areas of immigration. The ACLU advocated for its own stance against the 287 (g) program, utilizing phone banks, canvasses, and radio and digital ads to get the word out.

Democratic pollster Mark Mellman tweeted that this “sends a strong message to local law enforcement nationwide.”

Here are a few responses to Mellman:

Featured image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: