WASHINGTON - The debate on sanctuary cities is in full swing as one Massachusetts sheriff is now calling for the arrest of leaders in those cities.
Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County says the government and current administration is responsible for protecting the safety of citizens.
"Look, any elected official in this country that openly defies federal law under section 1324 clearly states anyone who knows someone to be in the country illegally and attempts to harbor or conceal them is -- commits a felony under federal law up to five years per alien," Hodgson said during a Fox News Channel appearance.
"An elected official shouldn't be held less accountable for consequences when they violate federal law than are their constituents. So they can't take license because they are elected officials and decide if they don't have the courage or will to go to Washington and lobby to change the law. Don't tell us that you are going to decide how it's going to go or tell law enforcement to turn our backs on our oath."
Hodgson reiterated that message during an appearance on FOX 5. "Elected officials need to be held to the same standards and consequences that everyone else -- constituents and everyone else in this country -- are held to."
"Immigration laws were intended to benefit the United States not to take care of all the other countries and the other countries issues and problems," said Hodgson. "Where we can help people we want to do it. We are the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration. we bring more than anyone else legally - over million year."
"We want people to do it the right way," he said. "It's a bad message to send to people who are waiting around their borders - five million approximately around the world who are respecting the law of the United States and saying, 'Look, you're fools for doing that. You should just violate the law and come on in.' We can't have that."
Hodgson said messages by law enforcement agencies regarding not enforcing immigration laws in order to keep trust in the community are red herring statements.
"I've been sheriff for 20 years, six years prior to that i was in law enforcement as a police officer," he said. "We're not having people being arrested for coming forth as witnesses and these people who keep promoting that are absolutely misrepresenting what's going on out there."
"We have to have order in our society. We have to have consistency around law. if we start creating pockets of people in our country that are going to be forgiven from obeying the law then we're going to have - eventually we'll have anarchy - but we'll also have law abiding people going, 'I don't particularly like this law either so I'm not going to follow that.'"