On September 5, 2018 it was my great pleasure and honor to be one of 44 Sheriffs from 35 states invited to participate in a call for immigration reform in Washington, D.C. The delegation represented more than 3,000 Sheriffs from across this country.
The day began with a press conference on Capitol Hill where Members of Congress and the Sheriffs called for an end to more than 20 years of Congressional inaction, and immediate passage of immigration reform legislation.
The delegation then participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Key Executive Branch officials participating in the roundtable included Vice President Mike Pence, as well as officials from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and others from the White House. The Sheriffs briefed the Executive Branch officials on the challenges we face in our jurisdictions from illegal immigration and the constant attempts to compromise our national security by those who would harm our country.
The highlight of the day was the presentation of a custom-made plaque to President Donald Trump. The plaque reads: “There’s a new Sheriff in town-in appreciation for your support of our efforts to enforce our nation’s laws-America’s Sheriffs.” President Trump was moved by the presentation and said that he would put it in a place of honor in the Oval Office.
Our message to Congress, the President, and Vice President is simple: American Sheriffs want immediate action in Congress by passing meaningful legislation to better secure our nation’s borders while also enhancing the interior security of our communities.
Those who call for open borders, abolition of ICE, establishment of sanctuary cities, and special favorable treatment for illegal aliens are in reality calling for support of more crime and drugs in our communities. The drug cartels, human traffickers, and gangs know how to exploit our system to do harm to America. The less secure our borders, the greater assistance we give these criminals. The relevant question is not whether illegal aliens are more or less likely to commit a crime (in addition to their crime of entering our country illegally) than a citizen is. The relevant issue is that, if they were not present in our communities, they could not commit crimes in our communities. It is a distraction to argue about ratios, statistics, inclinations, and proclivities. The fact is, people who are not present in our communities cannot commit the kind of crimes in our communities that we see tragically played out on any given day in any community across America. This is not a concern just for the counties next to the border. Today, every county is a border county.
Until we have secure borders, strong enforcement of immigration laws, and a fair, streamlined pathway to citizenship, we will not have true homeland security. The time to act is now.
It’s my highest honor to lead this office in keeping our community safe. Criminal illegal aliens have no place in a secure community.