The battle continues between Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson and New Bedford State Representative Antonio Cabral.

Cabral has pushed for legislation that would block the 287G program, which empowers eight members of the Bristol County Sheriff's Office to have the same powers as federal immigration authorities, in order to question and detain illegal immigrants. Hodgson stressed this is only for immigrants that are already in their custody, to determine if they are a danger, because often times they are released on bail before an ICE officer can even make it to the House of Corrections to question them.

Cabral is attempting to block state money from funding the program through proposed legislation, but Hodgson told WBSM's Barry Richard that's not even an issue.

"The truth of the matter is, and if Representative Cabral had called me and asked me that, he would have known that the federal government is paying for everything," Hodgson said. "For him to put that out there in the public is really irresponsible."

Hodgson has invited Cabral to appear on Richard's program for a public debate on the facts of the 287G program, so the public can hear both sides of the debate.

"We work for them," Hodgson said. "If Mr. Cabral feels his arguments are sound and not rooted in some other motivation, then by all means I respect that, but the public should have the right to know what each of us feels about why we're motivated to do what we're doing."

Cabral has not yet responded to Hodgson's invitation.


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