The two Sheriffs candidates may agree much more than they disagree, but there is one pronounced difference--and it relates to the controversial Arizona immigration law that made headlines this week.
At a debate on April 7th at California Lutheran University, Geoff Dean and Dennis Carpenter were both asked the stance they would take on illegal immigration. Here's what I wrote after attending the debate:
The candidates differed the most on enforcement of illegal immigration laws. Carpenter noted that the federal government could have done more to seal the border and indicated he would work with ICE. While Dean agreed, and credited Congressman Elton Gallegly for a high rate of deportations, he said that the downside to pushing too hard on immigration is that it will scare illegal immigrant victims from reporting crimes.
Dean's position is similar to incumbent Sheriff Bob Brooks'.
"This kind of enforcement would damage the relationship between law enforcement and immigrants who are often the victim of crimes, which might go unreported if they feared the police," Brooks said.
All three law enforcement officials' stances are more sane than some Democrats:
"It's a civil rights issue whenever you set someone aside because of the color of their skin or where they come from," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Oh, were you surprised that they would play the race card? Yes, Darrell, we have a set of laws that takes into consideration where people originate--they're called borders, and they're sort of important for countries to have.
I'm not sure I buy that the "we want illegals to not be afraid to report crimes" is the main reason for candidates and politicians to oppose the Arizona law. I heard the same thing about Special Order 40 in Los Angeles--in the coming days I'll ask around about it and see if there's any merit to that argument.