‘If someone needs to be deported, that’s a federal matter, and let them deal with it….’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Wake County, NC Sheriff Donnie Harrison, first elected in 2002, always had a reputation for law and order that served him well.
A Republican who consistently received crossover support from Democrats, initially people thought the popular Harrison would be a safe bet for another term.
But on Tuesday, Harrison was defeated for reelection, falling to an unknown Democrat named Gerald Baker, and it wasn’t close.
In the end, Harrison received only 45 percent of the vote.
The reason? Over the years, Wake County — home to the state capitol of Raleigh — has become solidly Democratic, and the Baker campaign made issue of the sheriff department’s involvement in the federal 287(g) program, which partners with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transfer illegal aliens into federal custody.
Under Harrison, Wake was one of only six in the state with such a partnership.
But there’s a reason for that – those six tend to be the most populous counties, with the highest number of illegal aliens. (Mecklenburg County, the most populous in the state centered around Charlotte, also elected an anti-ICE sheriff on Tuesday, who ran unopposed after defeating a pro-ICE sheriff in the Democratic primary.)
On Tuesday Wake County Democrats came out in force, and Harrison was victim to their strong turnout and anti-Harrison ads paid for by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accusing him of “pushing Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, tearing families apart and stoking racial tensions.”
Liberals eager to stop Trump any way they could — and especially those who moved to the county in recent years mostly from liberal northeastern states and were not familiar with Harrison’s record — bought the ACLU’s message.
Sheriff-elect Baker has promised to end the department’s partnership with ICE, according to WRAL News.
“Regardless of what color you are and where you’re from, if you break the law and we have to deal with you, we’re going to deal with you according to the law, not where you come from or whether you should be here,” he said. “If someone needs to be deported, that’s a federal matter, and let them deal with it.”
Harrison denies that the 287(g) program is racist against the Hispanic community. Rather, he says, it provides a tool to keep them safe.
But Baker said there’s no evidence it prevents crime, and says that it might actually promote crime because it makes people in the Hispanic community afraid of calling the sheriff’s department for help.
However, a study conducted in 2009 suggests Baker is incorrect. When Florida’s Collier County started a 287(g) program, it did not affect crime reporting patterns in immigrant communities.
Check out the article from WRAL News here.