WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Nearly 200 sheriffs from more than 40 states met with Trump administration officials at the White House on Thursday to share ideas on how to improve immigration and border security policies.
Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, Mass., said he sees no greater ally in cracking down on illegal immigration than President Donald Trump.
“President Trump has done more to support law enforcement in two years than we’ve seen congress do in two decades,” Hodgson said.
The visiting sheriffs support urgent action to address immigration issues on the southern border, which they say leads to trouble for law enforcement hundreds and even thousands of miles away.
“I love my county. I love my state. I love my country. But we have people dying,” Sheriff Sam Page of Rockingham County, N.C., said.
According to Page, 11 people in his county died of opioid overdoses last year.
“Where are those drugs coming from? And here’s a key point what I want to make—the cartel. The Mexican drug cartel,” he said.
On Wednesday, the group of sheriffs got together to tell Congress they are fed up with their inaction on immigration.
“If they lock down those borders, many of those illegal immigrants that get into our country would not be here,” said Sheriff Tony Childress of Livingston County, Illinois.
Thursday’s invitation-only event was sponsored in part by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which works to limit the flow of immigrants into the U.S.
While the visiting sheriffs all support Trump’s immigration policies, Congress has been less enthusiastic. While the sheriffs were in Washington, the Senate voted to end the president’s emergency declaration at the border and stop him from using military construction money to build the wall.