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Charlotte Talks: Immigration At Center Of Meck Sheriff's Race

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Credit Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office

The upcoming primary for Mecklenburg County sheriff could determine the future of the 287(g) program at the Mecklenburg jail. Incumbent Irwin Carmichael wants to keep it, but his challengers, Antoine Ensley and Garry McFadden, want it gone. WFAE's David Boraks sits down with the three candidates.

In a typical election year, the Mecklenburg sheriff's race would fly under the radar. But in an era when law enforcement here and nationwide are under scrutiny, the race is front and center in the May 8th primary.

Dominating the contest is the 287(g) program, which checks the immigration status of those arrested and brought to the jail. The program has been in effect locally since 2006, but has now become a key division among the candidates.

Incumbent Irwin Carmichael, who was elected in 2014 with 60 percent of the vote, has been the most vocal defender of 287(g), saying it keeps the community safe. Hs challengers in the Democratic primary, Garry McFadden and Antoine Ensley, say the program sows distrust between the Hispanic community and law enforcement, and should be dismantled.

WFAE's David Boraks recently sat down with the candidates, and we bring you those conversations this hour.


David Boraks, WFAE reporter (@davidboraks)


Antoine Ensley, former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer; former Fletcher, N.C., police chief (@VoteEnsley2018)

Garry McFadden, retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg police homicide detective (@SugarFreeTalk)

Irwin Carmichael, Mecklenburg County Sheriff (@IrwinForSheriff)