Sheriffs around the country are planning to march on the nation’s capital, hoping to send a message to President Obama and Congress that they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The Dec. 10 rally in Washington, D.C., is being organized by two sheriffs from Massachusetts – Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson and Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald.
They have challenged America’s other sheriffs, asking for at least 200 of them to join in paying a visit to the Capitol to make a stand against amnesty and plead for Congress and the president to secure the border. More than 20 have already signed up to participate, Hodgson told WND.
The march will culminate in a meeting with Republican leaders at the Capitol building regarding possible legislation to secure the border “once and for all.”
Hodgson has sent a letter to sheriffs nationwide asking them to join him in the rally.
He told WND he’s already heard from 20 to 25 sheriffs who have committed to join him on the trip to Washington. The letter states in part:
“As you know, the policies of recent years that encourage immigrants to illegally enter our country have created serious threats to our domestic and national security. The citizens of our nation are counting on the American Sheriffs to fulfill our oath to preserve law and order and live up to our responsibilities as guardians of the United States Constitution.
“Given the fact that 25 people are killed each day by illegal immigrants, and our schools are becoming overcrowded and more costly, our public health is threatened by new diseases and ailments introduced by people living in our communities illegally, and the fact that benefits are being given and violations of the law forgiven for a select group of non-citizens, makes clear our obligation to act now before we erode the confidence and the faith citizens have in Sheriffs across the country and throughout our history.”
Hodgson told WND that sheriffs across this country “are tired of being marginalized, either by the inaction of Congress or the overreaction by the president of the United States, who have put us in this situation.”
Hodgson said he started thinking about planning the march while at the National Sheriffs Association Conference in Dallas-Fort Worth earlier this year.
“One of the things I raised was that the people of the United States have always looked to the American sheriff as someone who looks out for public safety and they are not looked at in a partisan way, so it seemed to me we need to stand up to support the border sheriffs,” Hodgson said. “We all have become border sheriffs.”
He said President Obama’s 2012 executive order allowing illegals to stay in the country for two years and entitling them to a hearing, “caused all sorts of problems” for law enforcement.
“The word got out and the cartels realized immediately that was a great way to make money, and it has netted them millions and millions of dollars smuggling people to the border,” Hodgson said. “That was done with the stroke of a pen in June 2012, which was an election year.”
Obama chooses to act on ‘Revolution Day’
Now Obama is about to go even further, planning to announce a sweeping amnesty plan for millions of illegal immigrants Thursday evening.
Just after 12 p.m. Wednesday, the White House posted a Facebook announcement that reads as follows:
“It’s time to fix our broken immigration system. Tomorrow night (November 20th), President Obama will address the nation on new commonsense steps he’s taking to fix as much of it as he can. Tune in tomorrow at 8pm ET. “
Thursday’s date, Nov. 20, is significant, says William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration.
“November 20 is Mexican ‘Revolution Day’ or Mexican ‘Civil War Day’ which is the equivalent of America’s 4th of July,” Gheen said. “Obama’s choice of this date for his departure from his Oath of Office and the U.S. Constitution creates a permanent symbolic relationship between his actions and Mexico’s violent revolutionary and civil wars from 1910-1920.
“Obama is making a powerful and dangerous symbolic declaration to large Spanish media audiences today comparing his new immigration orders to the violent Mexican revolution and civil war,” Gheen continued. “Obama is timing his move to thwart the American public’s voice in Congress to coincide with Mexican Revolution Day and the Ferguson (grand jury decision) while CBS, ABC, and NBC will keep most U.S. citizens oblivious tonight.”
No proof for cited cause of ‘surge’
The problems with illegals were already intense before Obama’s 2012 executive order, but they exploded in the wake of that declaration, Hodgson said.
“The president said the surge at the border was from them trying to escape poverty and violent drug gangs. They have their issues, no question, but no one has ever been able to document that this was the cause,” he said.
He cited a report by the El Paso Intelligence Center, which he called “a bipartisan study done on this very issue,” that found no connection between increased crime and poverty and the surge at the border.
“We know homicides are down in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, but the point is the president did this. They are trying to place children all over the country. They have to hire translators, etc., and the costs are overwhelming,” Hodgson said. “We have one situation in Lowell, Massachusetts, where the mayor is saying, ‘Our schools are bursting at the seams. We just can’t afford this anymore.’
“Just the other day, we apprehended a (illegal) man 35 years old for a crime in one of our high schools. He had gray hair. This is the kind of nonsense that’s going on.”
Hodgson said he visited McAllen, Texas, this summer and saw firsthand the chaos that was being caused by a border that had been turned into a massive welcome mat. He also saw how it’s affecting the interior of the country.
“They were moving them out of the facility there so they could create bed space. Five plane loads were sent to Massachusetts,” he said. “One guy had all kinds of medical issues, and his treatment is going to be in the millions of dollars. Now that he’s being released from our hospital, they shipped him back to Texas and let him go. So these are the kinds of problems the American people aren’t being told of, but we see them every day.”
The Obama administration has essentially created a whole new class of people with special rights and privileges that are not available to law-abiding citizens, Hodgson said.
“They are exempt from certain laws. Now the president of the United States says, ‘I know you came here illegally, and I know you may have committed misdemeanor crimes after you came here, but I’m going to give you a work visa and allow you to stay here indefinitely,” Hodgson said. “When you have a president say he doesn’t care who comes into our country … that’s the beginnings of the breakdown of democracy.”
The concern is what kind of message amnesty sends to “the five million people waiting in line to get in legally,” Hodgson said.
“Congress is not acting. They are not doing what they should be doing, which is to secure our borders. That’s why I’m asking sheriffs to go to Washington,” he said. “Our cities are being overrun. So we’re saying to Congress, ‘Live up to your oaths.’”
If anyone can stand up for the rights of law-abiding citizens, the sheriffs can, he said.
“It’s our responsibility to enforce the laws, and we’re also responsible for protecting the constitutional rights of the people who elect us,” he said. “So this is a problem that affects all of us.”
Not all sheriffs on board
The National Sheriffs Association has the largest membership of any law enforcement group in America.
“They have come out and said they fully endorse every sheriff to stand up and speak out on this issue,” Hodgson said. “And we support the security of the border. Start with stemming the borders. That’s step one. And then manage what we have here in a very thoughtful political approach.”
But not all the nation’s sheriffs are against granting amnesty.
Sheriff Scott Jones of Sacramento County, California, released a video plea to the president this week calling for him to unilaterally declare “immigration reform.”
See video below in which Jones claims the president is “singularly” responsible for the immigration issue.
Gheen, of Americans for Legal Immigration, said he sees Jones’ message as counterproductive.
“Most sheriffs have better sense than that because they’re elected by the people,” Gheen said. “But, hey, you have to consider, it’s California.”
Hodgson was not sure if Jones would be joining his march on Washington.
“There are sheriffs that may have different points of view, but I can tell you the majority of sheriffs in this country are against amnesty, and they are absolutely in favor of getting our borders secured,” Hodgson said.
He said getting 200 sheriffs to join him in Washington in the middle of the holiday season won’t be easy, but he’s encouraged by the early response.
“I threw that figure out there as a challenge to the sheriffs. I’ve gotten several calls from sheriffs who have committed to us from as far away as Washington state, California, North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania,” he said.
Sheriff Sam Page from Rockingham County, N.C., and Sheriff Jenkins of Fredrick County, Maryland, and Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, are among those who have already committed to the effort.
Hodgson said he’s been involved in the immigration issue since 1999, shortly after he won his first term as sheriff of Bristol County.
“I’ve worked on both Republican and Democratic sides to try to get this issue under control, and I’m very familiar with how it’s become used as a political football. I’m as frustrated as anybody,” he said.
Bring in the Israelis
Hodgson said he has been calling for officials in Washington to bring in Israeli border security officials as consultants to help map out a comprehensive border security plan.
“Frankly… because nobody is better at border security than the Israelis,” he said.
He describes it this way for the uninitiated: If you were looking out your kitchen window and saw a strange man walking through your backyard, would you turn away and take your chances on whether that stranger meant harm or was “just passing through”?
“We’ve got criminals, gang members, drug dealers and now al-Qaida working with the cartels, and we have reports that ISIS could be doing the same thing,” Hodgson said. “Since when do we turn our back on that? You wouldn’t turn your back if someone you didn’t know was walking through your backyard. We need to know who’s coming in and who’s here.”
Hodgson said he believes there’s more to it than just Washington lacking the will to do what’s right. He believes the Obama administration has sinister motives.
“They want to build a socialist system,” he said.
And how do you do that?
“You overburden the existing system until it collapses,” he said. “We can’t let it happen. Our Founding Fathers would disown us if we let it happen.”
Gheen, of ALIPAC, said he had a suggestion that he wishes the sheriffs would consider when they pay a visit to the nation’s capital next month.
“If the sheriffs are heading to Washington, how about suggesting the sheriffs take some of their best men to D.C. and they use their power and ability to arrest the president of the United States?” Gheen said. “I think if the sheriffs are going to Washington on Dec. 10 and the president continues to violate the Constitution of the United States, that they should consider arresting the president of the United States. What if the sheriffs decided to use their power to do this?”