A local sheriff is spear-heading an effort on behalf of the National Sheriff’s Association, which hopes to push Congress to take action on securing America’s border.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said he decided to rally support from sheriff’s nationwide after a stall in legislation that would address illegal immigration and border control.
“Those of us in law enforcement have our boots on the ground,” Hodgson said. “Those ranchers who live near the border, they understand how serious the threat is and what we have to do to stop it.”
Hodgson sent a letter to Congress on Friday, signed by 380 sheriffs across the country. The letter calls to secure the border by enforcing immigration laws, tightening security, and supporting replacements and upgrades to current barriers.
Last year, Hodgson said he was willing to send his inmates to help build President Donald Trump’s border wall. That idea was not mentioned in the latest letter, but the sheriff said it’s still a goal of his.
“I’m sure there are sheriffs around the country who would send inmates to build that wall if it would save taxpayers money,” Hodgson said.
Hodgson said he will continue to push to send Massachusetts inmates to build the border wall. But, not everyone thinks this is a good idea.
Rhode Island Jobs With Justice Executive Director Mike Araujo said sending inmates to build the wall would not be a good look for the country.
“It’s a bad sign when we’re in a time in our politics where public servants fell it’s okay one, to offer free labor, and also conscript unwilling human beings to do something that is considered both a folly and destructive to international relations and basic humanity.”
Hodgson said he met with Trump twice within the past year, and he’s optimistic about possible immigration reform. He says it is now up to his fellow sheriffs to make similar pushes in their communities.