The Indy recently endorsed hard-core conservative and anti-immigrant Mike Angley in the El Paso County Sheriff Republican primary. The Indy's beef with Elder is absolutely no justification for the endorsement of his opponent, Angley. The stakes of this race for the immigrant community are high; around 70 percent of deportations in the U.S. originate with sheriff's departments.
On his website Angley states, "I intend to maximize discretion and detain for as long as is permissible and work in conjunction with federal immigration authorities on disposition."
In response, the Indy writes: "We think that's reckless at best, and will likely lead to a payout of taxpayer funds in a lawsuit. Local officers are not federal law enforcement and have no right to enforce immigration law, with or without an agreement."
First of all, this statement is poorly researched and dismissive. There are many ways for sheriff's departments to legally cooperate with federal immigration. A lawsuit might, in some cases, limit degrees of cooperation depending on policies the particular sheriff's department has in place. But, a lawsuit alone is not going to terminate the cooperation of the sheriff's department with ICE.
So, with or without a lawsuit, Angley's policies will put thousands of community members at risk of deportation.
Let's talk about reckless.
The Indy publicly supported a candidate who will do anything in his power to detain and deport the approximately 27,000 people in this community who are living without documents. These are parents, siblings, employers, employees, children. These are our community members, each one of whom has a story, is contributing to our economy, our neighborhoods, our culture. Indy, you have put our community members at risk. We see where you stand, and it is not on the side of the immigrant community.
I recommend you rescind this endorsement and instead leave it blank.
— Siena Mann, Colorado Springs
Editor's note: The Indy stands by its endorsement. While both Angley and Elder have miserable stances on immigration (both intend to detain/currently detain for immigration status alone), Angley is the better choice for other reasons. And here's the inconvenient truth: One of the two will almost certainly be elected. What's more, we stand by our statement that local law enforcement are not federal law enforcement officers. While cooperation with ICE is common, we agree with the ACLU that local law enforcement officers cannot hold people based on questions about their immigration status alone.