DARTMOUTH — Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson is spearheading an effort on behalf of the National Sheriffs Association to push Congress to take action on securing America’s border and other matters against illegal immigration.

Over the past few months, Sheriff Hodgson and his staff have been reaching out to sheriffs across the country to discuss border security, illegal immigration and sanctuary policies. A letter signed by 380 sheriffs and the Ohio Sheriffs Association, representing 40 states, was recently delivered to every member of Congress.

"The sheriffs of this country have reached sort of the point where they're fed up with the efforts by people in elected office undermining our ability to keep our communities safe," Hodgson told WBSM News. "So thus the letter to every member of Congress, to tell them that their inaction for 20 years on the security issues relating to immigration are continuing to erode our ability to keep our communities safe."

Sheriff Hodgson said he decided to rally support from NSA and his fellow American Sheriffs due to the delay in moving forward on legislation that would address the illegal immigration and border security problems.

"The only thing Congress does understand and they move on is when the people of this nation rise up," Hodgson said. "So (the sheriffs are) going to stand by the American people, we're going to encourage them to rise with us, and send a clear message to Congress that enough's enough."

Sheriff Hodgson recommended the public contact their representatives in Congress to voice their frustrations with the lack on action on immigration matters. He also recommended Congress vote and pass Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) proposed “Securing America’s Future Act” (HR 4760), which increases border security, implements consequences on Sanctuary communities, and supports partnerships between local, state and federal law enforcement. The bill has been approved by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. and awaits consideration from the full House.

Hodgson said people are getting fed up with legislation protecting illegal immigrants under so-called "sanctuary" policies.

"I'm pleased to see the people of California, in a number of these communities, are now pushing back, saying, 'look, we're not going to stand by while you create a bubble of protection for the people who are here illegally, criminal illegal aliens who are in our communities," Hodgson said. "They're encouraging them to 'come out of the shadows,' but at the same time, you have the California attorney general saying 'if you law-abiding citizens attempt to cooperate with law enforcement, we're going to prosecute you. You have to go into the shadows.' That's the most outrageous sort of policy that has been talked about in law enforcement."

Sheriff Hodgson also said he's glad President Trump has found a "creative way" to fund the massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, by using money from the defense budget and calling it an issue of national security.

"I think every American, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, recognizes it's much harder to get anything done for the people of this country because of the nonsense that goes down on both sides of the aisle in Congress," he said. "The president was faced with this inaction that has gone on for 20 years, and the erosion of our laws and protections in our communities, so you have to find creative ways to work around the nonsensical things that happen down in Washington that we realize is strictly paralysis in the end, and all about politics."

"We need the American people and the sheriffs and all of law enforcement to stand together and say we want the rule of law upheld and enforced," Hodgson said. "We don't want the law-abiding citizens to be considered as the inferior group of people at the expense of the law breakers who are now being given all the protections that otherwise really belong to the American people."

Read the content of the letter to Congress from the sheriffs here.

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