CASA in Action Sends a Letter to Republicans
Will Hogan stand up to Jenkins after he joined with hate group with ties to white supremacists?
LANGLEY PARK, MD. – Today, CASA in Action sent a letter to Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan, formally requesting that he denounce Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins in his 2014 re-election campaign.
Recently, Larry Hogan disavowed Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka for his ties to a known hate organization. Sheriff Jenkins just returned from a border tour conducted by anoter organization identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group – FAIR. CASA hopes that Mr. Hogan will extend his principled response to the Peroutka candidacy to Chuck Jenkins.
Larry Hogan recently posed with Jenkins for a campaign picture on his Facebook page. By staying silent as Jenkins’ ties to a white supremacist backed hate group have become public and by refusing to denounce Jenkins’ illegal detentions of Latinos without probable cause, Hogan is giving tacit approval to this kind of prejudicial behavior.
“It’s deeply concerning that Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan is campaigning with someone that associates with known hate groups,” said Gustavo Torres, President of CASA in Action. “Because of Sheriff Jenkins’ history of prejudice against our community and his ties to a white supremacist backed hate group, CASA in Action has asked Larry Hogan to publicly disavow his 2014 re-election campaign.”
The full letter to Larry Hogan is as follows:
Dear Mr. Hogan,
Last week, we were pleased to see that you denounced Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka for his association with the League of the South, an organization that has been recognized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As your campaign stated in the press, “Larry absolutely disavows him. Those views have never been a part of the Republican Party and they never will.”
We agree that hate speech or racial prejudices should have no place in public service or campaigns.
Because of your stand on this issue, we would urge you to disavow Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins in his 2014 re-election campaign.
As I am sure that you are aware, in the past, Sheriff Jenkins has used his office to illegally detain Latinos without probable cause. Sheriff Jenkins has a long and very public record of fear-mongering against immigrants. In 2013, CASA, together with Latino Justice and Nixon Peabody, successfully represented Plaintiff Roxana in an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court. The U.S. Appeals Court found that the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department had discriminated against Roxana after deputy sheriffs unlawfully confronted and held her while she ate her lunch based on her appearance and, therefore, presumed immigration status. In repeated interviews, Sheriff Jenkins has argued that his deputies did nothing wrong.
This month, it was reported that Sheriff Jenkins traveled to the US-Mexico border on a trip paid for by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). This organization is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. As a part of its research, the SPLC has found that “several FAIR officials have links to white supremacist hate groups.”
Given Sheriff Jenkins association with a known hate organization and the highly visible nature of his anti-immigrant actions, we were concerned to learn that you recently posted a photo on your “Change Maryland” Facebook page of you posing with Sheriff Jenkins in front of the Frederick Detention Center – the very site that Sheriff Jenkins has turned into a deportation-pipeline.
It has seemed to our organization, the largest Latino electoral group in Maryland with almost 60,000 members, that you are running as a business Republican and are trying to avoid some of the social issues, like immigration, that so hampered the capacity of the Maryland Republican Party to grow. As a candidate focused purportedly on the economy, we think that you may know anti-immigrant policies do not help Maryland agriculture, a super-majority of whose workforce are undocumented. That when the antics of people like Sheriff Jenkins are in the media, an immigrant entrepreneur or investor, of whom Maryland is lucky to have more than a state’s typical share, may think that he or she should reside and invest elsewhere. And, of course, that comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the country’s undocumented would provide one of the greatest economic boosts our region and country has seen in years. That is why we would urge you to take a principled stance, as you did against Mr. Peroutka, by publicly disavowing Sheriff Jenkins and his illegal tactics of intimidation against minorities.
Thank you for your attention to this issue. If you could please respond by Thursday, August 7th, we would appreciate it so we can inform our members of your position.
CASA in Action