State News

Illegal immigration debate moves to forefront of Dole, Hagan campaigns

Posted May 28, 2008

— Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole is launching her first campaign ad of the year with a 60-second spot that touts her work on illegal immigration.

The ad, set to begin airing Wednesday, includes clips from a number of sheriffs who praise the first-term senator for helping link them to federal immigration tools.

Dole's campaign said it has spent about $500,000 to air the spot statewide for about two weeks. She has banked some $3.2 million for her re-election bid.

Rival Kay Hagan ran a couple of ads before her primary victory at the beginning of May. Hagan reported having just $317,000 cash on hand in mid-April.

Dole's advertisement comes one day after Hagan met with six sheriffs to discuss immigration.

Hagan said Tuesday she supports the idea of county-federal partnerships that put illegal immigrants who commit crimes on the path to deportation.

But unlike other candidates for top statewide office, including Dole, Hagan told a group of North Carolina sheriffs that she has some major concerns about how officials are proceeding with the program.

"The citizens of North Carolina pay federal taxes," Hagan told a half-dozen sheriffs during a round-table in Raleigh. "Immigration is certainly a federal issue, and the federal government cannot be throwing another unfunded federal mandate down on us at the state level."

Dole has been a leading advocate, traveling the state to help sheriffs sign up. Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for Dole's campaign, said the first-term senator wanted to begin fixing the problem as Congress struggles to find a solution.

"Sen. Dole is not going to sit around in Washington and wait for what it's going to do," Gidley said. "North Carolinians want results."

But Hagan said that she would not encourage sheriffs to participate in the 287 (g) program if it costs counties money. And the state senator from Greensboro also said she thinks the county-by-county participation creates a patchwork solution, so she warmed to the idea of a more regional plan she said could be more effective and efficient.

Mecklenburg is one of five North Carolina counties that are participating in the program, and deputies there have already started to deport some 4,300 people who came through the jail system in the past two years. Sheriff Chipp Bailey echoed Hagan's concern that local officials have been tasked with a job that they shouldn't have to do.

"Local law enforcement is having to take on some of the federal responsibility for the protection of our community," Bailey said.

Bailey also said in an interview that his office has 18 people dedicated to managing the program. But he said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pays a decent per diem to keep inmates in jail as they await deportation.

Hagan is the only major candidate with qualms about going forward with 287 (g). Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bev Perdue has said she supports giving state money to fund the program, while Republican rival Pat McCrory supports putting the program in every sheriff's office in North Carolina.

Hagan also said she wants to focus on securing borders and making sure that employers are hiring legal workers.

"The whole way we handle immigration in this country is flawed," Hagan said. "We don't have an immigration system, and that's why we have a border that's not secured."


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  • pbjbeach May 28, 2008

    The whole bush adminstration is to blame for this entire illgeal situation because they have absoultely refuse to hold anyone responsible for anything that has gone wrong . along with the fact that they haven't allowed the border patrol to do it's job of enforcing in fact i'll bet if tyhe real truth were to be known they the border patrol agents that might have tried to do their jobs of enforcement were in allprobablity punished for doing their jobs if they insited on enforcement of the borders. an rembember that mrs dole is a part of this adminstration. also rembember that when bush told browine your doing a heck of a job brownie . the borders aren't being protected because big businness wants the illegals here for the cheap labor that they provide regardless of how much lip service that pay to this issues saying other wise

  • whatusay May 28, 2008

    I have to say I can't identify a single person elected by the people of NC who oppose illegal immigration. What do they know that keeps them supporting illegals.

  • Alert5 May 28, 2008


    I stand corrected!

    Thank you - couldn't have said it better myself!

  • foetine May 28, 2008

    The Dole ad is very telling since she's the passenger in the car taking her around the state. Guess she's pretty clueless trying to find herself around the state without a driver.

  • whatelseisnew May 28, 2008

    So according to Hagan, she does not view coming into the country as enough of a crime to justify deportation. Apparently as Senator she needs to see some more American deaths on the highways, before she thinks deportation should happen. She lost my vote. As much as I want to turn out incumbents into the street, I will not vote for another Amnesty supporter; and that is what Hagan is. She is just doing campaign fodder to help gin up some votes.

  • whatusay May 28, 2008 are mostly correct with the exception of the employer. The employer should be jailed and fined. When the employers know that American citizens will not accept them working illegals they will stop hiring them. Until then we are just spitting in the wind. Any time you hear someone say we must "secure the border first", they are pro illegal immigration. Any time you hear a politician say "we must deport the illegals committing crimes", they are pro illegal immigration. Make mandantory jail time for employers and the problem will go home.

  • LambeauSouth May 28, 2008

    but have you looked at this?

    Based on a one-year in-depth study, a researcher estimates there are about 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States who have had an average of four victims each.
    Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta analyzed 1,500 cases from January 1999 through April 2006 that included serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants

  • richard2 May 28, 2008

    Both parties look at these illegals as voters!

  • Alert5 May 28, 2008


    My country, and I stress my country, is reaching a turning point in history. The free flow of illegal aliens is have a very negative impact to not only the safety of our states citizens by the DWI/DUI fatal accidents; gang violence; and the bleeding of our social service resources. They also pose a "Clear and Present Danger" to our nation's security - PERIOD!!!!

    I know for a fact that the illegals are schooled in to how to avoid paying taxes by having the least amount taken out of their paychecks - about $1.00; hence, not paying their fair share of the services that taxes pay for them.

    To boil it down - the citizens will speak in November and remind their political reps of their obligations, or else they will vote them out of office.

    Either be prepared to leave or follow the process to become legal

  • iron fist May 28, 2008

    They can not, and will not ship us all out!! So, they might as well alow us to become legal so that we can be law abiding citizens.
    Who can assure anyone just because you become legal you will be a law abiding citizen. You may be, I don't know I don't know your past. If you are going to stay we should know all about you. One thing we do know you were law abidding when you crossed the boarder.