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SHERIFF THOMAS HODGSON: “The sheriffs are at a point now in this country where they’ve watched the inaction of Congress for 20 years on this issue of particularly the security aspects of immigration reform to a point now where it’s impacting our ability to be able to keep the people of our community safe. We have elected officials who are basically telling the illegals that they need to come out of the shadows while at the same time you have people like Attorney General Becerra in California saying we want you citizens and legal residents to go into the shadows, and if you attempt to cooperate with law enforcement to keep your community safe, we’re going to prosecute you. We can’t have that in America.”
Sheriffs from around the country sent a letter to all Members of Congress outlining the need for congressional action on securing America’s border.Read the #PressRelease here: https://t.co/rKCYq7KLfX pic.twitter.com/RBu4L03PHo
— National Sheriffs’ Association (@NationalSheriff) March 28, 2018
See a PDF of the sheriffs’ letter here. Text follows below:
March 21, 2018[Names of 380 sheriffs from 40 states follow.]
Dear Member of Congress:
Congress must act to pass legislation to secure our borders through enforcing immigration laws, tightening border security, support the replacement and upgrades to current barriers and fencing and construction of barriers along the U.S. and Mexico international boundary as requested by those areas where it is needed, suspending and/or monitoring the issuance of visas to any place where adequate vetting cannot occur, end criminal cooperation and shelter in cities, counties, and states, and have zero tolerance and increased repercussions for criminal aliens.
I stand firm with my fellow Sheriffs throughout our nation to have our borders secured first, in full cooperation and support of our promise and mission to uphold and enforce our nation’s laws, and we expect nothing less from Congress.
As elected Sheriffs, we have taken an oath to do everything in our power to keep our citizens and legal residents, our communities, and our nation safe. Year after year, we have been warning the Federal government about detrimental increases in transnational drug trafficking, gang violence, sex trafficking, murder, and other escalating incidents of crime by illegal aliens entering our country. Because Congress has failed to enact the necessary reforms, our citizens and legal residents face even greater dangers, our national security is more vulnerable, and our enforcement efforts have been seriously compromised.
Sadly, today some state and local officials have been enacting policies and giving lawbreakers shelter from being rightfully prosecuted and removed from our communities. In fact, these same laws forbid law enforcement agencies from cooperating with one another, and go as far as forcing the release of dangerous criminals into our communities exposing our citizens and legal residents to be victimized once again.
In a recent announcement a certain state has even stated that they will prosecute law-abiding, hardworking business owners if they cooperate with law enforcement to identify and remove lawbreakers from the community drives our justice system to a new low. We cannot have lawabiding citizens threatened with criminal prosecution for cooperating with the very people who they trust to protect them.
The Sheriffs of this nation and all our law enforcement partners understand that the oath we took to uphold and enforce our laws is the guarantee that they can trust us to preserve their safety and protect their well-being.
The failure of Congress to create legitimate and comprehensive immigration reform for more than 20 years has dramatically undermined our ability to keep our communities safe. This not only puts our law enforcement at serious risk for danger, but further puts them in an untenable situation of violating our oath and promise to enforce the law.
Further delay and inaction on immigration reform will cost more innocent lives, more financial hardships, and an even greater decline in the public trust that is essential to the preservation of our Republic.
Without border security and immigration reform, more Americans will continue to be victims of crime. Now is the time to act!