A handful of local sheriffs with ties to the organized anti-immigrant movement released statements Monday charging that administrative relief for immigrants would result in detrimental effects such as attracting terrorists into the nation and unraveling the country’s democracy. The statements were made by sheriffs representing various states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina. As we saw this summer, the sheriffs quoted below were all to eager to exploit a humanitarian crisis and employ nativist talking points.
“In my opinion, based on what I’ve seen, every county in America will become a border county,” said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, Maryland.
In his statement, Sheriff Tom Hodgson of Bristol County, MA said he believes resources will be diverted from counter-terrorism programs to instead be used on “issuing this amnesty.” He claims in turn then will open “a gaping hole for terrorists to walk right into the country and strike at innocent people.”
And if that was not enough, Hodgson also warned administrative relief will lead to “the beginning of the destruction of our Democracy.” Hodgson’s failed Democracy prophecy is perplexing considering the reason the president has turned to executive order is because the Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to comply with any bill that would provide relief to immigrants, with some members even threatening a second government shutdown over it.
Another Sheriff, Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, MD, said in his opinion, administrative relief will turn “every county in America will become a border county” and will “absolutely going to worsen the crisis.” He also warned it will lead to the country to be infiltrated by “transnational gangs.”
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, AZ claimed Obama intends to “unleash a tidal wave of illegal border crossings” and would only be making “matters dramatically worse for our officers who are trying to do the job the President won’t.” And no one takes their job more seriously than Babeu, who, over the summer, used his position to tip off anti-immigrant protesters about Central American kids who fled violence being transported to Arizona. This led to the protestors mistakenly harassing a bus of full of YMCA campers.
Sheriff Sam Page simply said administrative relief would make way for “a terrorist or any other kind of criminal may cross our borders.”
Sheriffs Page, Hodgson, and Jenkins all have ties to the flagship anti-immigrant organization the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Over the summer, the three sheriffs participated in a tour of the Southern border sponsored by FAIR.