Raleigh, N.C. — Some county sheriffs are backing Gov. Pat McCrory's veto of a bill dealing with immigration-related matters.
The measure is one of two bills McCrory vetoed this year. Lawmakers will hold a special session next week to decide whether to override those vetoes.
McCrory's press office sent a news release Friday morning claiming support from at least six of the state's 100 sheriffs that back his rejection of House Bill 786, which would allow temporary workers to stay employed longer without undergoing a background check.
The bill "could lead to large loopholes for employers to take advantage of, if they were so inclined, and take away from North Carolina citizens in need of work," said Sheriff Sam Page. Page serves in Rockingham County, the home district for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.
"I absolutely support the governor's veto," said Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey. House Speaker Thom Tillis hails from Mecklenburg.
Sheriffs from Guilford, Columbus, Gaston and Forsyth counties also back McCrory's veto.
The struggle over this bill pits two traditionally Republican constituencies against one another. On the one hand, many Republicans like those elected sheriffs run on a law-and-order platform that includes securing the border against illegal immigrants. However, in recent days, farming interests – including the state's elected agriculture commissioner – have lobbied lawmakers to overturn the veto to ensure a steady source of farm labor.