ICE-loving sheriffs melt on Election Day

“In the last decade, Conway’s agency has identified more than 21,000 people to hand over to ICE,” the report said. “Since 2017, Gwinnett, Georgia’s second-­most populous county, has helped to detain more immigrants than any other county except five counties in states along the US-Mexico border.” Following Taylor’s advancement to the general this year, ICE did what it does when its overreach gets checked: threaten retaliation by saying it would escalate raids in the area. Taylor refused to budge—and won.

Also in Georgia, Cobb County Police Department major Craig Owens defeated incumbent Republican sheriff Neil Warren 54.7% to 45.2% after also vowing to end the department’s 287(g) agreement. 

“Are we doing the job of a federal agent? And why are we wasting resources?” Owens told Cobb County Courier during the Democratic primary earlier this year. “And that’s something I’m not in support of. I’m not in support of it because I think we can put those resources we put in that program to other resources in the county to help our crime rate come down.”

“And I think if immigration is a federal task, they should be handling it,” he continued. “And I can use my resources I’m putting into that to other things within the community to help my community out. And that’s why I think I could refocus that.” Impeached president Donald Trump endlessly claimed that pro-immigrant policies implemented by localities are dangerous. That’s of course a lie.

But pro-ICE candidates were also booted out elsewhere! In Ohio, Charmaine McGuffey defeated Republican Bruce Hoffbauer 52% to 47% to become the first woman, as well as first openly gay person, to serve as Hamilton County sheriff. She in fact defeated not one, but two pro-ICE opponents this year, massively trouncing incumbent sheriff Jim Neil during the Democratic primary earlier this year, 70% to 30%. Neil not only collaborated with ICE, but also attended a rally—in full uniform—for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016, for which he later apologized.

The Appeal reported last month that Hoffbauer, who was subsequently endorsed by sour grapes Neil, vowed to “be even more active in partnering with ICE than it has been under Neil,” but didn’t say how exactly. Thankfully we’ll never have to find out. 

In Arizona’s Maricopa County, Prism also reports incumbent Democratic sheriff Paul Penzone “continues to hold a sizable lead” over Republican Jerry Sheridan, who served as a deputy to disgraced former sheriff and noted racist Joe Arpaio. In the final weeks leading up to the general election, Sheridan loudly complained about people continuing to bring up his former boss, telling Arizona Republic “[I] have a difficult time trying to convince people, ‘Hey, I’m not Joe (Arpaio).” But he spent six years showing Maricopa County that was exactly who he was.

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