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Candidates for school board, sheriff make their case to Hispanic voters in Durham

Posted May 6, 2018 6:40 p.m. EDT
Updated May 7, 2018 10:41 p.m. EDT

— Ahead of Tuesday's elections, candidates on Sunday night were breaking down issues facing the Hispanic community in Durham County as candidates for the school board and sheriff's office made promises to voters.

During a debate Sunday, school board members all made promises to hire more bilingual employees and more interpreters. There are also no bilingual counselors within the Durham Public Schools system, and parents said they hope to see a change to that as well.

The school board race has been heating up, especially in District 1, between incumbent Mike Lee and Pebbles Lucas, but all candidates were on the same page Sunday night.

As for the sheriff's office,the candidates see things differently when it comes to immigration enforcement. Sheriff Mike Andrews said he'll cooperate with the federal agency when it comes to ICE detainers at the detention center.

"So, I'd rather those officers, whether I like it or not, come to a single location than to be in our community causing fear and panic times ten," he said.

Candidate Clarence Birkhead sent a different message, saying he would not cooperate with ICE under any circumstances.

"I have not changed that stance and I will not change that stance," he said.

Now that community members have been briefed on the issues, the next step is to vote.

“Each individual has the power to make change. The power comes from the community. You would think that it comes from people in the government, but it actually comes with the community, so go vote,” said Luzita Francis with the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations.