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ICE-friendly sheriffs suffer major losses in midterm elections – ThinkProgress

Voters throughout the nation on Tuesday night time issued a robust rebuke of Republican efforts to crack down on immigration and cooperate with federal immigration officers.

In a number of key races, incumbent sheriffs who had beforehand been pleasant towards Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been ousted and Republican candidates who had echoed President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric have been shortly proven the door.

A handful of poll initiatives meant to guard immigrants additionally handed with resounding help.

The victories have been emblematic of a higher shift among the many citizens, a backlash to Republicans’ general racist, anti-immigrant midterm messaging. Although voters gave a number of causes for backing Democratic Home candidates, for example — who managed to swing the stability of energy leftward — some argued it was Republicans’ determination to return out onerous towards immigration that led their Democratic opponents to victory.

“House Republicans are furiously pre-spinning defeat by blaming Trump for talking about immigration, but that is crap,” former Obama adviser and Pod Save America host Dan Pfeiffer tweeted Tuesday night. “House Republicans spent most of their money on immigration ads with racist undertones.”

The backlash to that messaging was evident on the native degree as properly. In a number of counties in North Carolina, New Mexico, and Minnesota, voters closely favored Democratic candidates who had promised to face off with ICE and shield immigrant communities, soundly rejecting Republicans who had finished the other.

Guilford County, North Carolina sheriff’s race

RESULT: Anti-immigration incumbent ousted

In Guilford County, Democrat Danny Rogers ousted Republican incumbent Sheriff BJ Barnes, who has held the seat for 24 years.

Barnes, who supported former Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) anti-sanctuary regulation in 2015, and in an op-ed for The Information & Report beforehand criticized the Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gave momentary work authorization and deportation aid from sure undocumented immigrants who got here to america once they have been youngsters. Barnes referred to as DACA a failed program that “sends the signal that it is OK to have broken the law,” and stated that undocumented immigrants presently in the nation ought to be fingerprinted and tracked for 2 years, and subsequently deported if that they had not turn out to be residents by that time.

“America is a land of compassion, opportunity … and laws,” he wrote.

Rogers, who beforehand labored in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Workplace and as an officer with the close by Excessive Level Police Division, has in the previous condemned racial profiling and stated he would adjust to state and federal legal guidelines on the books, in regards to undocumented people. Individually, he criticized Barnes for incidents of police brutality that occurred on his watch.

After his defeat on Tuesday, Barnes lamented Rogers’ victory, writing on Fb, “I’m just sorry you have to live with what you are left with. If he has any sense he will listen to the best officers in law enforcement, but I’m afraid history shows that probably will not be the case.”

The publish was deleted or made personal hours later.

Wake County, North Carolina sheriff’s race

RESULT: ICE-friendly incumbent ousted

In Wake County, North Carolina, Democrat Gerald Baker ousted ICE-friendly incumbent Sheriff Donnie Harrison Tuesday night time. Harrison has served as Wake County sheriff since 2002.

Baker was particularly important in the course of the marketing campaign of Harrison’s choice to companion his workplace with federal immigration officers beneath the 287(g) program. This system is an ICE initiative that deputizes native regulation enforcement, empowering officers to focus on and detain undocumented immigrants. It has come beneath further scrutiny from immigration advocates in the previous yr, following the Trump administration’s determination to triple the variety of agreements nationwide, in accordance with the Middle for American Progress. (Editor’s Word: ThinkProgress is an editorially unbiased newsroom housed inside the Middle for American Progress Motion Fund.)

Harrison has defended his choice to enlist Wake County in the 287(g) program, saying it stored the area protected.

“If I turn a child molester or a bank robber loose, or whatever on the street, and I turn him loose because I didn’t know who he was and he went down the street and robbed a bank or molested a child, who’s going to be blamed for it,” he stated, in line with WUNC.

Baker, who stated in the course of the marketing campaign he would finish this system, didn’t purchase that excuse. “You’ve got a guy who may get stopped out there for expired tags or no driver’s license and he gets in there and they put that detainer on him and he may have a wife and whole house full of children, babies and everything else,” he argued.

Hennepin County, Minnesota sheriff’s race

RESULT: ICE-friendly incumbent finishes behind pro-immigration challenger

The incumbent in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriff Richard Stanek, completed behind challenger Dave “Hutch” Hutchinson in his re-election bid Tuesday night time. A complete of round 2,300 votes separated the 2, although Hutchinson has already declared victory.

Stanek got here underneath hearth from immigration advocates and county officers final summer time, after critics claimed he was not solely willingly working with ICE, however going “above and beyond” to focus on and detain undocumented immigrants.

Against this, Hutchinson has promised to chop the county’s ties with ICE and stated doing so would hold all its residents protected.

“We’re not going to deal with ICE, because we have an obligation to our tax-paying people, and our people who live, visit and work in Hennepin County, to make sure they’re safe,” he stated at a candidates discussion board in September, in response to the Twin Cities Every day Planet.

He additionally famous that immigrants have been statistically much less more likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born residents.

Hutchinson additionally stated that he “opposes any local law officer asking a community member about their citizenship status.”

Ulster County, New York sheriff’s race

RESULT: ICE-friendly incumbent unofficially ousted

Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum misplaced his reelection bid to Democratic challenger Juan Figueroa Tuesday night time, although roughly 7,073 absentee ballots haven’t but been counted. Figueroa, who declared victory on Wednesday, informed The Poughkeepsie Journal that the ballots would probably improve his complete votes.

Van Blarcum, a Democrat who ran as a Republican on this yr’s poll, has come beneath heavy criticism in current years for his controversial conduct. As ThinkProgress beforehand reported, the incumbent refers the names and knowledge of everybody booked into the Ulster County Jail to ICE for immigration cross-check. Based on The Attraction, his workplace additionally proactively cooperates with ICE by passing alongside the names of each foreign-born individual and asking if officers have an interest in choosing them up.

“He doesn’t care if there’s a minor arrest of a major felony arrest,” Figueroa, a former Marine and state trooper, advised ThinkProgress in September. “I am not contacting ICE for minor offenses if the individuals have not committed any major crimes. ICE, if they want somebody, they have to give a warrant from a judge, stating that this individual is wanted.”

Los Angeles County, California sheriff’s race

RESULT: ICE-friendly incumbent in lifeless warmth with challenger

Former Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva pulled forward of Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell Wednesday morning after being locked in a close to lifeless warmth with the incumbent for many of Tuesday night time. As of Wednesday afternoon, the 2 have been separated by a razor-thin margin of slightly below 5,000 votes.

McDonnell has been criticized for his pushback towards Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s sanctuary regulation, SB-54, which prohibits regulation enforcement officers from inquiring about somebody’s immigration standing throughout routine stops or proactively cooperating with federal immigration officers. McDonnell has condemned efforts to stymie that backchannel, saying such efforts might “make our communities less safe.”

Villanueva has painted himself as pro-immigration, arguing in the course of the marketing campaign that he would “kick ICE out” of county jails, in line with LAist.

Doña Ana County, New Mexico sheriff’s race

RESULT: Democratic candidate, much less pleasant towards ICE, leads over ICE-friendly former sheriff

After Doña Ana County, New Mexico incumbent Sheriff Enrique Vigil was ousted through the Democratic main earlier this yr, Kim Stewart took his place and confronted off with former Republican sheriff Todd Garrison in the area’s basic election Tuesday. Stewart completed forward of Garrison with a commanding 53.6 % to his 46.5 %, in response to the Las Cruces Solar Information.

Garrison, who served as sheriff from 2004 to 2015, and left after his time period restrict was up, has pushed aggressive stances on immigration, echoing these of the Trump administration. In line with CityLab, he denounced congressional efforts at bipartisan immigration reform in 2013, and his workplace has been accused of inquiring about immigration standing throughout routine visitors stops. Garrison denied his officers had engaged in such conduct.

Each Steward and Garrison have stated they haven’t any drawback with Operation Stonegarden, a $55 million Homeland Safety grant from which $750,000 was given to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Workplace in September. In trade, the sheriff’s workplace supplies help in border patrol duties. KVIA studies that the county has acquired tens of millions in Operation Stonegarden funds since 2007.

“This funding was not used to round up illegal immigrants,” Garrison informed the outlet. “As local law enforcement officers, we have no idea who’s here legally or not.”

Steward partially agreed, saying the grant had “never had a clear mission,” however on her marketing campaign web site added that she wouldn’t take part in any program that may “compel” the sheriff’s workplace to behave as an arm of ICE or Border Patrol.

“When we become the immigration police, we shut the door forever on those who need our help,” she wrote. She added that she would make exceptions in instances of human trafficking.

Different key races

Immigration-friendly candidates scored huge in non-law enforcement races Tuesday as properly. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, county government candidate Steuart Pittman bested incumbent Steve Schuh with 51.eight % of the vote. Schuh authorised a 287(g) settlement with ICE beforehand — an influence that lies with the county government’s workplace in Anne Arundel — giving the company authorization to carry as much as 130 immigrants in one of many county’s detention facilities.

Pittman has stated he’ll finish the settlement as soon as in workplace.

The state of California noticed its personal major immigration victory Tuesday, when Democrat Gavin Newsom beat out Republican John Cox for governor. Cox beforehand promised to finish state “sanctuary” legal guidelines.

Immigration poll measures

A number of cities and states additionally requested voters to weigh in on immigration proposals in poll measures Tuesday. In Oregon, voters resolutely rejected Measure 105, which might have repealed the state’s sanctuary regulation, by a ultimate tally of 62.eight % to 37.2 %. And in Humboldt County, California, voters have been requested to determine on the Humboldt County Sanctuary Initiative, a measure that might prohibit native regulation enforcement businesses from cooperating with federal immigration officers. The initiative handed, 51.6 % to 48.four %.

Regulation enforcement officers stated they have been already cooperating with statewide sanctuary regulation SB-54 and that the initiative was pointless.