Bristol Co. sheriff defends border wall plan at State House

BOSTON (WHDH) - Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson was at the State House Monday to defend his border wall proposal after a state representative proposed banning state funds from federal programs.

The sponsor of the proposal, Rep. Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford) said only the federal government should be funding federal programs. He said the two bills he is proposing are not directly targeting Hodgson.

“We just don’t think it’s appropriate to use state dollars to go out of state, in particular for programs that are federal programs,” said Cabral.

Also defending the bills was Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton), who caused controversy when she posted messages on social media warning Brockton residents to not open their doors to ICE.

Hodgson opposed the bills, saying they would block his office’s partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Hodgson also said it would stop his plan to send inmate volunteers to the border to build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall to stop illegal immigration. Hodgson said it would prevent him from using state resources and inmate labor.

“The taxpayers pay a lot of money to run these jails and the prices keep going up,” said Hodgson. “And the imates need to have something that they can count on that they can do to help build skills and get confidence.”

In a statement, Gov. Charlie Baker said he would prefer inmates continue their work programs in Massachusetts.

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