Why a Prominent Massachusetts Sheriff Opposes a State Sanctuary Bill

Introduction: Apparently undeterred by string of violent crimes committed by illegal alien criminals who have been released back onto the streets of American as a result of federal, state and local sanctuary policies, the Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill that would create statewide sanctuary policies. In a powerful testimony against House Bill 1228, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson argues that the legislation poses a threat to public safety and would require law enforcement officers to violate their oath to uphold the law.

TESTIMONY HB 1228

SHERIFF THOMAS M. HODGSON

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

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The essence of this bill leads to one fundamental question that we as elected representatives of the American people and legal residents must answer.

Are we here to protect the citizens and legal residents of the commonwealth with regards to their public safety, public health, and financial welfare, or are we here to do everything we can to give cover to, accommodate, and not offend people who have violated our laws?

This legislation not only asks law enforcement officers to violate their oath to faithfully and impartially enforce the laws, but forbids us from detaining serious criminal illegal aliens from going back into our communities to victimize more innocent people.

Further, this law would forbid us from cooperating with federal ice agents, by sharing booking lists, allowing them to use our facilities for interviews or provide information regarding inmates’ incarceration status or release dates.

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What is deeply troubling to me and I believe the citizens of both the commonwealth and our nation, is why any of us who are elected by the people would want law enforcement to have less tools, less capabilities of sharing equipment, resources and intelligence to help keep our communities safe.

As recently as today, secretary of homeland security Jeb Johnson condemned San Francisco for their failure to cooperate with ice, which ultimately led to the death of Kathryn Steinle.

As someone who led a team of 50 law enforcement personnel to ground zero where we spent 5 weeks on the rescue effort, it was easy to understand why state, local, and federal agencies needed to collaborate on domestic and national security interests. This is not the time to roll back our progress through restrictive legislation. The future Mohammed Atta’s of the world are counting on us to provide them cover so they can kill more innocent people. And, on our domestic front, this legislation protects illegal behavior and encourages more illegals to settle in Massachusetts, further enhancing the chance for future tragedies like the death of Matthew Denise, and two other people in the town of Milford as well as other communities…

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Throughout the commonwealth, at the hands of illegal aliens.

Sheriff Hodgson In 1994, Sheriff Hodgson, a former Maryland Police Lieutenant for Special Operations, joined the staff of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and served as Deputy Superintendent of Investigations. He also served five years as a Councilor-at-Large on the New Bedford City Council. Read Sheriff Hodgson’s bio here. Also read Sheriffs Rally to Oppose Amnesty.

How Democrats Can Achieve Three Top Priorities – Blog 3

Democrats have outlined three defining challenges of our time: Income Inequality, Climate Change, and Civil Rights.  If they were truly interested in addressing these three issues, they need to rethink their position on immigration. Immigration alone has an order of magnitude greater impact on these issues than any current or proposed government program or policy. Democrats need to have an honest discussion on immigration, analyze the facts and data, and adopt policies that lift up all Americans.

In the last of three blogs, I address how immigration affects the issue of civil rights.

Civil Rights

Fifty years after enactment of the Civil Rights bill of 1964, far too many African Americans still lack the opportunities to succeed in the U.S. President Obama’s own initiatives highlight the disparities in education, employment, and involvement in the criminal justice system.

Peter Kirsanow, a U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner and former member of the National Labor Relations Board sent a letter to President Obama last year detailing how immigration has devastated the African American community. He cites research that shows immigration accounted for 40% of the decline of black employment from 1960-2000. Kirsanow notes African Americans and illegal immigrants compete for the same jobs and the labor surplus prevents wages from rising. In many industries, illegal immigrants have displaced African Americans. While 51% of native-born African Americans do not have an education beyond high school, nearly 76% of foreign-born Hispanics lack a post-secondary education. Sixty percent of African American teens are unemployed or underemployed, the highest of any group.

Outrage over police shootings sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.  While there are many, many issues at play here, the sad fact is if those young men were at work those days, it is far less likely that they would have had their fatal encounters with the police. How many more young African American men in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore would jump at the opportunity to work at a job currently held by an immigrant in their city? Despair wrought by chronic unemployment has a devastating impact on their lives, their families, and their communities compounding health, crime, and economic crises.

“We won’t be living up to our ideals when their parents are struggling with substance abuse, or are in prison, or unemployed, and when fathers are absent, and schools are substandard, and jobs are scarce and drugs are plentiful.  We won’t get there when there are communities where a young man is less likely to end up in college than jail, or dead.”

- President Obama at launch of My Brother’s Keeper

Our cities’ schools struggle to provide African American children a foundational education. School districts across the country have seen a huge surge of immigrant children that drive costly support programs.  Last year alone 74,000 unaccompanied minors came to the U.S. and the federal government dispersed them across the country. These children alone could fill 80 schools in cities across the U.S. Those were just the unaccompanied minors, which pale in comparison to the number of children of legal and illegal immigrants. In Chicago, over one third of students in 123 public schools are in English immersion programs. These programs can cost 50% more than educating an English-speaking student and consume valuable, limited resources, funding, and teachers’ attention. America has always welcomed immigrants, yet the record immigration levels have overwhelmed our ability to assimilate them into our schools and society.  As we seek to improve the performance of our education system, we cannot afford to compound the burdens to our schools.

Reducing our immigration levels would provide more educational and job opportunities for African Americans and other minorities. They will see an increase in wages and experience and a decrease in crime and poverty.

Immigration Policies

So why do Democrats strongly advocate for high immigration levels and granting citizenship to immigrants here illegally?  Why does President Obama issue controversial executive orders to refuse to deport those who violated our laws and borders?  Why does Hillary Clinton pledge to double down on the President’s immigration efforts to grant citizenship to all immigrants here illegally and recruit millions more low-skilled immigrants?  Is it just to win the Hispanic vote in elections?

At a time when far too many Americans are unemployed and far too many struggle to make ends meet, why are we adding over one million new immigrants and hundreds of thousands of guest workers every year? Why are we issuing millions of visas to the poorest, uneducated, least developed nations to compete with poor Americans?  If we want to tackle climate change, why are we multiplying the carbon footprint of nearly 100 million people by 500 times?  If we want to provide more opportunities for African Americans, why are we flooding our labor markets with unskilled labor?

We need to rethink our immigration policies and have a thoughtful discussion on how they can best strengthen our nation, economy, and future.  We need to educate people on the numbers and impact of immigration, beyond the talking points by many politicians, 30-second debate responses, and cable news anchors.  If we really want to make a difference on income inequality, climate change, and civil rights, the first step is to reduce our immigration levels.

The author of this guest opinion is a federal policy analyst.

How About Real Protection for the American Worker?

In a speech given at a Labor Day rally, Hillary Clinton threatened to send American employers to jail for “wage theft” and praised President Obama for promoting “paid family leave”:

“I was very proud that President Obama said today he is going to require federal contractors to provide seven days of earned paid sick leave… And he’s going to fight for paid family leave, something that I’ve been fighting for for 30 years and we’re going to get it done.”

How about we also defend the American worker by revisiting our immigration policy and by holding American employers accountable?

worker-635755_640We summarized in an issue brief Harvard economist George Borjas’ input on how immigration affects the American worker. Look at it from a supply and demand perspective, he said: immigration’s supply of workers leads to the price of labor going down. Conversely, in sectors of the labor market that are not significantly affected by the influx of immigrant workers, the price of labor goes up. What Borjas teaches us is that the presence of low-skilled immigrant workers tends to lower the wages of American low-skilled workers. So, if we cared about the well-being of low-skilled American workers who are being hurt by additional competition, our immigration policy would be geared towards minimizing or stopping the entry of low-skilled immigrants.

We also need to be tough on employers, but not the way Mrs. Clinton suggested. We must sanction employers who employ illegal aliens. One way to do that is by making the E-Verify program mandatory nationwide. This would limit the job magnet and empower states to impose penalties against employers who break the law by hiring illegal aliens.

We at FAIR are committed to protecting the American worker, not just on Labor Day but every day. As we noted in our small guide to making a case for real immigration reform, our primary concern is the well-being of America’s native workforce—especially our most vulnerable citizens who are hurt the most by additional competition from low-skilled immigrants.

After all, stopping “wage theft” or promoting “paid family leave” does not help those who do not have a job.

Presidential Candidate Spills Democratic Party’s Secrets

Presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee is giving the Democratic Party a headache and it’s not because he has consistently been the lowest-polling contender on the right.

While speaking at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting last week, the former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator shared a little too much about why he believes Democrats support amnesty.

“We’re right on immigration, the fastest growing voting bloc in the country,” Chafee said. “Of course we want that people to be treated with respect, and to vote Democratic.”

Chafee’s statement contradicts what his party has largely claimed, that reforms to immigration policies are based on compassion and not tied to luring in government-dependent, Democratic-aligned individuals by the millions.

Watch the video for yourself and share your opinion in the comments section below.

 

How Democrats Can Achieve Three Top Priorities – Blog 2

Democrats have outlined three defining challenges of our time: Income Inequality, Climate Change, and Civil Rights.  If they were truly interested in addressing these three issues, they need to rethink their position on immigration. Immigration alone has an order of magnitude greater impact on these issues than any current or proposed government program or policy. Democrats need to have an honest discussion on immigration, analyze the facts and data, and adopt policies that lift up all Americans.

In the second of three blogs, I will address the nexus between immigration and climate change.

Climate Change

While Climate Change is hyper-politicized, I think we can all agree that burning tons of fossil fuels is not good for the environment.  President Obama recently launched the latest round of Climate Change plans and actions to use the EPA and others to restrict coal plants, invest in renewable energy, and push for more fuel-efficient vehicles.  Combating climate change is all about reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The U.S. has one of the largest CO2 emissions per capita, from heating and powering our homes and businesses, personal and commercial driving, and consumption of food, goods, and services. A majority of immigrants to the U.S. come from nations with a fraction of per capita CO2 emissions.  The U.S. emits five times the amount of CO2 per person as Mexico and over 8000% more per person than Haiti.  To put that in context 536,000 Haitians would emit 115,000 tons of CO2, whereas the same number of people in the U.S. would emit nearly 9.5 million tons.  The table below shows the CO2 emissions per capita of the top 10 countries of origin for U.S. immigrants and the percentage increase.

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In 1970, the U.S. population was just over 200 million.  Today it is 321 million.  By 2050 the U.S. is projected to exceed 436 million. Immigrants and their descendants drive most of the growth.  To combat climate change, Democrats have proposed a wide-array of solutions to reduce carbon emissions by 10-30% over the next 20-30 years. The proposed solutions come at potentially considerable economic and social cost to achieve their goals.  Yet over the last 38 years, the U.S. population grew by over 100 million people and will do it again in the next 35 years.

Even if Democrats were successful in implementing the most aggressive climate change solutions, 100 million more people increasing their CO2 emissions by over 500% would dwarf any progress made. If the U.S. reduced the number of immigrants each year, the data clearly shows the Earth would be healthier.

In the first of three blogs I addressed the nexus between immigration and income inequality. A coming blog will look at immigration and civil rights.

The author of this guest opinion is a federal policy analyst.