North Carolina voters oust sheriff who backed Trump's immigration policies

North Carolina voters oust sheriff who backed Trump's immigration policies
© Mecklenburg County

Voters in Mecklenburg County in North Carolina — the state’s largest county — ousted their sheriff last week in a primary race that became a referendum of sorts on the Trump administration’s deportation policies.

Sheriff Irwin Carmichael has backed 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 that were arrested on unrelated crimes.


Carmichael defended his county’s participation in the program, even pushing back against critics who said "that we're ripping families apart” on Fox News.

"I always tell everyone, you will never ever encounter this program unless you are arrested and charged with a crime," he said.

Irwin, came in third place in the primary, with only 20 percent of the vote, which he blamed on "outside influences" and the immigration issue.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), among other advocates, invested $175,000 into the race in efforts to use the primary as a model for how to resist President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE’s immigration crackdown, reports NBC News.

“Carmichael [sic] shouldn’t be surprised,” Lorella Praeli, the ACLU's director of immigration policy and campaigns, tweeted. “He chose to facilitate Trump’s deportation force. Sheriffs around the country, take notice.”

There were no Republicans on the ballot in the general election, so Garry McFadden, a retired homicide detective who has also been recognized by Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing MORE, is the county’s sheriff-elect, with more than 52 percent of vote.

Trump has long been critical of so-called sanctuary cities, which do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, taking particular aim last month at California for its laws defying the federal government.

Trump has said there’s “a little bit of a revolution going on in California” because some residents don’t agree with the state’s immigration policies. The president previously thanked Orange County for resisting the state's laws by joining the Trump administration's lawsuit against California.