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Sen. Dole’s first TV ad being shown today

Staff report

Seeking re-election to a second term in November, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., began running her first television advertisement today.

The ad features several N.C. sheriffs, including Rowan County Sheriff George Wilhelm and Davie County Sheriff Andy Stokes, both Republicans.

Backdrops also include many Salisbury locations and, briefly, the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

The 60-second ad, which you can see at www.elizabethdole.org, focuses on Dole’s work to deliver for North Carolina what her campaign calls “the first and only statewide immigration enforcement plan of its kind in the country.”

Working with the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Dole helped establish a partnership between North Carolina sheriffs and federal immigration officials.

Under the plan, sheriffs across the state can access tools and resources, such as the Section 287 (g) program, which enable them to identify, apprehend and deport illegal aliens who self-identify themselves through criminal activity.

The ad features several sheriffs from across the state discussing how Dole came to them, asked what federal assistance they needed to combat the criminal illegal alien problems, and then worked with Immigration officials and North Carolina sheriffs to help deliver the statewide immigration enforcement plan.

The ad will continue for two weeks across the state.

The campaign spent about $500,000 to place the television ad in the following news markets: Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, New Bern, Asheville and Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.

The ad also can be seen at www.elizabethdole.org.

Meanwhile, Dole’s Democratic opponent, N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-Guilford, hosted a roundtable Tuesday with local sheriffs to discuss illegal immigration and the 287(g) enforcement program which trains sheriffs as deputies to immigration officers.

Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler of Cumberland County, Sheriff Dick Jenkin of Nash County, Sheriff Worth Hill of Durham County, Sheriff Hubert Peterkin of Hoke County, Sheriff Mac Manning of Pitt County and Sheriff Wayne Gay of Wilson County participated in the roundtable.

“I don’t disagree that the 287 (g) program has merits, but currently, because it’s only being utilized in a handful of North Carolina counties and because the federal government is not funding it properly, it’s a problem that falls unfairly on the state and on the counties,” Hagan said. “The immigration policies of the Bush/Dole team are just one more reason why Washington is broken.

“Of course I believe that illegal immigrants who are convicted of a crime should be deported, but the 287(g) program is not a comprehensive solution to our country’s immigration problem ó it’s a Band-Aid.”

Hagan said the Bush Administration has not made enforcement of the borders a priority and employers are virtually never penalized by hiring illegal workers.

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