380 Sheriffs Warn Congress Failure to Secure Border ‘Will Cost More Innocent Lives’

By Craig Bannister | March 30, 2018 | 12:00pm EDT
Nat. Sheriff's Assn. Exec. Dir. Johnathan Thompson (Screenshot)

Nearly four hundred sheriffs from around the country have sent a letter to all members of Congress calling for congressional action to secure America’s border. The letter, signed by 380 sheriffs representing 40 states, was spearheaded by Sheriff Thomas Hodgson from Bristol County, Massachusetts.

The letter, posted online by the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), says Congress must act to secure the nation’s borders by:

  • Enforcing existing immigration laws,
  • Tightening border security,
  • Supporting the replacement of, and upgrades to, current barriers and fencing,
  • Constructing 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,
  • Ending criminal cooperation and shelter in cities, counties, and states, and
  • Have zero tolerance and increased repercussions for criminal aliens.

“Without border security and immigration reform, more Americans will continue to be victims of crime. Now is the time to act,” the letter says, warning that serious illegal alien crime is increasing and harming Americans – because Congress has refused address the problem:

“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.”

Without action, more Americans will die, the letter warns:

“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.”

The sheriffs also call for an end to local and state efforts – like sanctuary city policies – to thwart law enforcement efforts:

“These sanctuary policies, including the laws California enacted, directly undermine and limit cooperation and collaboration between local, state and federal law enforcement, making it harder for America’s sheriffs to protect our citizens and legal residents.”

“In addition, the problem of MS-13 and other gangs that operate back and forth across our borders has become worse because of our failure to secure the border and the continued court-ordered catch and release policies.”

Earlier this month, National Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jonathan Thompson issued a statement condemning Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for alerting criminals that there would be a law enforcement operation in her area which, Thompson said, “put both citizens and police in danger.”

“What the Mayor is doing is dangerous and reckless. By alerting the public of the operation, she gave known criminal illegals safe harbor which ultimately put the people in that area, as well as law enforcement, in danger."

The Sheriffs’ letter says these types of policies not only frustrate law enforcement officers, they also endanger their lives:

“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."


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