Sheriff offers inmates to build border wall
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson is offering to ship his inmates off to the southern border to help President-elect Donald Trump build a massive wall.
“We need to turn this country around and put law and order back in place,” Hodgson told the Herald last night.
He’s proposing to send “eight to 10” inmates with a guard to help build a wall along the Mexican border. He said he has sent his pitch to Trump’s transition team. And, he added, he’s been told by other sheriffs across the country they are ready to join in.
“A lot of the sheriffs across the nation want to use this resource,” Hodgson said. “This is a chance for us to save taxpayers’ money. It’s long overdue.”
He added the prisoners would be building a wall that would help keep out immigrants that are competing for domestic jobs. And, he said, the inmates could add the work they do to their resumes. “It’s job training and more,” he said.
Hodgson said the idea comes out of Project N.I.C.E., which stands for National Inmates Community Endeavors, a federal prison work program used to help those in need after natural disasters and more.
“Project N.I.C.E. extends beyond rebuilding cities and towns to nationwide projects that have a positive impact on our communities and public safety. Projects like President-elect Donald Trump’s border wall,” Hodgson said during his inauguration address last night.
“That’s why today, I am making a formal offer to President-elect Trump that inmates from Bristol County and others from across the nation through Project N.I.C.E. will help build the wall.”
Hodgson, who was sworn in for his fourth six-year term by Gov. Charlie Baker at Bristol Community College in Fall River, has frequently railed against illegal immigration and traveled to Texas last year to meet with the border agents and rangers who patrol the Texas-Mexico line.
Hodgson said he could “think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall.
“Aside from learning and perfecting construction skills, the symbolism of these inmates building a wall to prevent crime in communities around the country, and to preserve jobs and work opportunities for them and other Americans upon release, can be very powerful,” the sheriff said.
On his way to winning the presidency, Trump repeatedly vowed to secure the southern border by building a huge wall.
Hodgson also said in about two weeks he’s signing a deal with federal immigration officials to have them train a dozen of his guards so they can interview county inmates to make sure no illegal immigrants are set free by mistake.
“This (Obama) administration has obliterated partnerships. This gives us the tools we need,” the sheriff added, “especially in the post-9/11 world.”
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