ROCHESTER, Minn. – Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson is running for a second term as sheriff, and he’s running that race uncontested.
This comes after he was accused last week of helping detain immigrants for federal authorities. Communities United for Rochester Empowerment (CURE) sent him a letter and even held a protest.
Torgerson said he’s been working to try to set the record straight.
“One thing we try to tell them is we don't control immigration, we have nothing to do with immigration,” Torgerson said, “but yet we understand that, because we have and we are responsible for the detention center here, that we do have to cooperate and collaborate in some ways with all of our federal partners.”
One of those partners is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE.
It’s something that’s a concern for groups like CURE, and it’s making them work to ensure everyone in Rochester is represented when it comes to law enforcement leadership.
“The immigrant community really needs a voice too to be fairly represented within the whole electoral process of Rochester and the decision-making process of Rochester,” Che Lopez, the lead organizer of CURE, said.
Torgerson said the job of sheriff is one in which he’s always learning, and plan to continue communicating with communities.
“Our communities are getting much more diverse throughout Olmsted County, certainly Rochester is one that's really changing,” Torgerson said.
Lopez said CURE plans to hold those in leadership positions, like Torgerson, accountable.
“Democracy's not just about voting,” Lopez said, “but it's also about making sure that the elected officials and the decisions they're making is impacting the community as a whole.”
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