Hundreds of sheriffs from across the United States signed a letter supporting President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexico border and urging all lawmakers in Congress to take action against sanctuary policies.
The National Sheriff’s Association sent the letter signed by 380 sheriffs from 40 states to all members of Congress on Monday, March 26.
“We’re calling on Congress to take action now, on the security issues at the border and against sanctuary policies in our states, cities, and towns,” Sheriff Thomas Hodgson from Bristol County, Massachusetts, said in a statement.
“These sanctuary policies 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,” he added.
In the letter, the sheriffs point out that they have been warning lawmakers for years about the “detrimental increase in transnational drug trafficking, gang violence, sex trafficking, murder, and other escalating incidents of crime by illegal aliens entering our country.”
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. But Congress has obstructed the president’s efforts to deliver on his promise, most recently by declining to fund the wall’s construction in the recent $1.3 trillion spending bill.
Trump’s Justice Department has ramped up pressure on sanctuary locales, especially California, which passed statewide laws effectively sheltering illegal aliens. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued California over these measures, arguing that they are unconstitutional.
“Congress’ inaction undermines sheriffs’ ability to protect our citizens,” National Sheriffs’ Association Executive and CEO Jonathan Thompson said in a statement. “Sheriffs across this country have signed this letter because Congress cannot continue to weaken our efforts to make our communities as safe as possible.”
Earlier this week, 18 state attorneys general filed a court brief in support of Sessions’ lawsuit. The attorneys argued that the influx of illegal aliens from the California sanctuary can hurt neighboring states. They also pointed out that the Supreme Court has already ruled against an analogous local measure in Arizona.
“I’ve spent my career fighting to uphold the rule of law while California’s sanctuary cities policy thumbs its nose at the rule of law,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a news release. “States cannot be allowed to ignore federal laws they don’t like, especially when doing so puts public safety at risk.”
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